Four Qualities of Game Changers


Leaders go beyond safe improvements to risky innovations. Leadership is dangerous. Management is about safety. I’m not degrading management at the expense of leadership.

Managers lead and leaders manage.

The ability to distinguish between management and leadership exposes the path to the next level. Success requires both.

Management is evolution.
Leadership is revolution.

“Don’t just play the game – change the game. The goals are to create, improve on, and innovate around best practices in order to find next practices.”

Mike Myatt in “Hacking Leadership

Four qualities of game changers:

  1. Self-aware. The ability to know, grow, and express who you are – for the good of others – is your greatest contribution. The only alternative is being someone else.
  2. Awareness of and sensitivity to others. Insensitive people seldom change the game. The best leaders are both tough and sensitive to others. I’ll concede there are a few exceptions. I doubt if you’re one.
  3. Market-intelligence. Game changers understand what the market will embrace.
  4. Purpose. “… they understand the value of serving something beyond themselves.” Mike Myatt

Leaders who master the inward-focused components of leadership while neglecting the outward-focused are self-centered, ineffective, and self-indulgent.

A game changers framework:

  1. Simple. Complexity seldom changes the game. Simple is realistic, cost effective, quick to adopt, and fast to implement.
  2. Meaningful. Meet a need. Solve a problem. The bigger the problem the better.
  3. Actionable. Game changing is about verbs not nouns. If you can’t see it in action, it’s not a game changer.
  4. Relational. Enhance, extend, and leverage existing relationships.
  5. Transformational. If nothing changes the game hasn’t changed.
  6. Scalable. The best thing about game changes is they build upon themselves.

Game changers have SMARTS.

*Both lists on this post are adapted from, “Hacking Leadership.”

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How can you get to the next level in your leadership?