Extreme Leadership Qualities: Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

by HBR Blog Network

leadership qualitiesThe leadership qualities of extreme leaders may be just what’s needed to shake the dust from your company if you’re facing dire straits.

Gautam Mukunda, professor at Harvard Business School, discusses the concept of extreme leaders in a video on the HBR Blog Network, and the different leadership qualities they bring to the table. Mukunda marks leaders as extreme not because of their radical views, but by the fact that “compared to all the other people who plausibly could have had that job,” these people are “extremely different.” Mukunda says that looking at leaders as good or bad isn’t the best way to evaluate, and instead leadership qualities should be broken into “normal” and “abnormal.”

One trait that sets the very best extreme leaders apart is that they have the rare “ability to be supremely confident and supremely humble at the same time.” It’s perhaps what allows them to always do something “that everyone else at the time says, ‘That’s a crazy idea,'” but that ends up being right.