June 22, 2018

10 Top Talents that Effective Innovators Possess

What do Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Jessica Alba have in common? More than you might think.

While Bezos never acted in blockbuster movies and Alba never launched a car into space, these three powerhouse innovators share key talents and skills across the board.

So, what are the top talents and skills that effective innovators like Musk, Bezos, and Alba possess? Let’s take a look.

1. Confidence

When you’re leading a company or trying to bring an idea to life, confidence is absolutely essential. You need to believe in yourself, believe in the product, and believe in the possibility of a bright future. This is what will draw others to your cause-;from key investors to potential customers.

2. Grit

Also known as “determination,” grit is often what separates the wheat from the chaff. Pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth even wrote a fascinating book on this topic that’s definitely worth the read. But one of the biggest takeaways from that book was that Duckworth discovered talent usually takes a back seat to resilience and drive. Grit is what pushes innovators forward.

3. Independence

When you go out on a limb to create something, you’re often alone in the process. Even Jessica Alba stated she felt alone in the early stages of building The Honest Company. There were some decisions she made that forced her to draw a line in the sand and stand her ground against other stakeholders in the company.

If you’re going to build the company or product you want, a strong independent streak will help carry you through the tough times.

4. Curiosity

Famous copywriter and art collector Eugene Schwartz once stated that creation isn’t bringing something completely new into existence. Instead, creativity is when you bring together separate entities that have never been joined before. Uber is a great example of this in action. This startup didn’t invent the idea of ride sharing, but it was the first to connect this concept with the latest digital technologies.

Without the drive to explore and learn new things, you’ll never know what concepts can be joined together to create something truly revolutionary and groundbreaking.

5. Disruption

The status quo is never good enough for innovators. They often shake things up-;and sometimes just to see what the reaction will be. But in doing so, they can find ways to work smarter, not harder. And this is what enables them to do more with much less.

6. Delegation

While smart innovators tend to be fiercely independent, they don’t try to do everything themselves. It’s an inefficient system and they know it. Instead, they find the right people for the right positions and empower them to do their job as best as they can. This enables them to focus on the areas in which they excel.

7. Profitability

Cash is king. No question. The last thing you want to do is create a great product or company that's great in theory but struggles to make a profit of any sort. Truly great innovators find a way to strike a balance between keeping an eye on the profits while blazing new paths forward.

8. Networking

You cannot be a successful innovator without a solid network. Whether it’s from a personal or professional standpoint, you’ll need support and partnerships to make real change.

9. Trust

You’re rolling the dice when it comes to anything you build or create. The effective innovators are the ones who know when to take a big risk and when to hold back. They also know to listen to their gut even when the data might be telling them otherwise. Sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith and trust it will all work out in the end.

10. Salesmanship

If you want your business or product to take off, then you need to be able to sell it. You’ll need to make a convincing pitch to investors and persuade customers to make a purchase. The successful innovators are the ones who can sell their innovations in their sleep.

Final word

Possessing these skills and talents will help you take your innovations-;whether it’s a new company or a book you wrote-;to new heights. However, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t possess all 10. These talents-;like any other talent-;can be honed and developed over time. All you need to do is practice.

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