There are many challenges facing organizations these days.

To thrive and survive the turmoil requires more than greatness from individuals.

“Great” doesn’t cut it.

We need leaders that are stand-outs; people who cannot be compared to others because their distinctiveness defies any standard.


Here are 9 practical and proven attributes of the stand-out leader that I have discovered:


The stand-out leader:

  • Is not content with managing the momentum of the business. They cause interventions that force people to challenge the status quo and think differently. They don’t wait for a reason to change; they “force” change and make it integral to the organization’s DNA.
  • Does not tolerate sameness. They ask “how can we be different?” rather than “how can we copy the best in class?” And they accordingly change the conversation throughout the organization.

They seek ultimate uniqueness for the organization by creating their “only” statement: “We are the only ones that…”

  1. Loves uncertainty and communicates it to all employees. They recognize that certainty is reserved for the naive and that it is an exceedingly risky proposition. Believing that things will settle down raises unrealistic expectations and places everyone at risk.
  2. Embraces imperfection and encourages it. They understand that perfection doesn’t exist in business and while people covet it, they are standing still. Energies are directed to doing a lot of imperfect stuff as the way to establish and maintain leadership.
  3. Learn voraciously and continuously. They totally get that what got them here won’t get them to where they need to go. Their value to the organization is based on the new stuff they learn and apply.
  4. Serves people, not commands them to action. They ask “how can I help you?” rather than chirp “do this.” Stand-out leaders bash internal barriers to progress and make it easier for people to get their jobs done.
  5. Tells amazing stories. They are skilled storytellers, breathing life into the organization’s strategy by providing examples of successful execution. Their stories are rich with visual language intended to not only excite people on the strategic journey they are on but also to teach the behaviours expected of each person.
  6. Makes it clear what each person has to do to play an integral role in executing the organisation’s strategy. They constantly and passionately communicate the organization’s vision and strategy to capture the hearts as well as the minds of people. They use face-to-face venues to give everyone an opportunity to ask questions and clarify where the organization is headed.
  7. Is obsessed with execution. They understand that execution equals strategy and that flawlessly executing a “just about right” plan beats a “perfect” plan that can’t be implemented. A leader focused on execution tries her best to anticipate future trends and the changes likely to affect their organization, but they excel at responding to the random and the unexpected.


They are masters of “Plan B.”

They constantly follow up and monitor the execution of the organization’s strategy and take corrective action to get it back on track.

The stand-out leader is not “great;” they are unforgettable, distinctive, outlandish, memorable, mind-blowing and contrarian.

Do yourself a huge favour.

Acknowledge what you need to be great, but set your sights higher to be a stand-out leader.

Organizations need you to ‘take their breath away.’

Start now.

Ponder no longer.

Register for the 3rd iWahine Leadership Hui on 21 & 22 November 2018 at the CQ Hotel in Wellington now.

The theme is Kia tū teitei Stand out leadership.

This hui will be different from the previous two.

We will cover four of my eight module leadership development programme – claim your personal presence, discover your signature leadership presence, craft your signature stories and embody your leadership – to help you be a stand-out leader.

For more info go HERE and take advantage of the super early bird special available until 30 September 2018.


Noho ora mai, nā




P.S. If you are a Te Hao member or you paid to attend a previous iWahine Leadership Hui, email me for your special discount code.