Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, the new CEO at Belgian chemical company Solvay who appears on our cover, is very clear and direct about a keystone to being successful as a disruptive leader.

“You are not a transformational hero who is carrying the weight of the transformation on your own shoulders,” he told us. “You need to have a strong team around you who have the ability to support the changes.”

It’s sometimes hard to think in those terms, especially when considering the responsibilities that leaders are faced with. But person after person told us that disruptive leadership is not a solo act. The vision for your enterprise’s future may be yours — and you have to have a bold vision — but it takes a team of people who have bought into that vision to make it a reality, because that’s what disruptive leaders do.

  • They ask tough questions. Not “why didn’t we” questions but “why can’t we” questions.
  • They present a bold vision, one that seems impossible on its face.
  • They align everything in the enterprise to turn that vision into a reality.
  • They inspire everyone on their team and in their organization to make that vision happen.

So if you are still trying to shoulder the burdens of leadership alone, stop. Look around you and see who you are surrounding yourself with? Are they, as our own Nathan Rosenberg asks in this issue, committed to your vision for the future or merely complying with your directives?



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