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  • Holly Chasan-Young

Can you spot a 10X Transformation Leader?

Last weekend,  "How do you spot a 10X Engineer?" a Twitter thread celebrating brilliant software developers, inspired much discussion.


But with so many organizations undergoing Transformation to be more human-centered, digital, agile and product/service oriented (and up to 84% of Transformations reportedly failing to meet their goals) we're asking a different question:


How do you spot a 10X Transformation Leader?

Look for the following signs:


1. She Sees the Promised Land

She views her organization’s Transformation as a savvy flipper views an old house with good bones: she can articulate the future with clarity and simplicity.


2. She Goes into Communications Beast Mode®. 

She gives feedback throughout the Transformation. Talks about what’s changing, why it's changing, and what’s not changing. Celebrates tiny wins and amplifies lessons-learned. Tirelessly ensures alignment. Not once in a while, but all the time, and from the heart.


3. It Starts with Her

She won’t ask her teams to go it alone: If she’s not really bought into the transformation, it will show. She gets herself to a place of conviction from which to confidently lead.


4. She Moves with Purpose

Which behaviors will be expected in the future? Which skills need to be added? She has no crystal ball, so she fashions goals, environmental factors, customer contexts, and future trends into decisive bets. She makes bets to keep her teams out of limbo.


5. She Doesn’t Have the Answers

She’s "stubborn on vision...flexible on details.” She prioritizes problems to be solved - then trusts her teams to surprise her with their creativity & brilliance. They rise to the occasion every time.


6. She Won't let you Flounder

Her most underrated work includes continuously influencing and aligning the environment in which her teams orbit - and in scoping audacious-yet-attainable goals. She knows that more than anything else, the system will dictate the Transformation's chance of success.


7. She is There

She doesn't need ‘happiness’ surveys or office hours to have a pulse on how things are going, because she always attends teams’ demos: there’s no substitute for understanding progress from the source.


8. Safety First

She shares mistakes and pivots to enhance psychological safety - especially in failure-averse cultures (and aren't they all?) It’s OK to be wrong; OK to disagree. Safety leads to trying; learning - and better decisions - follow.


9. Action over Certificates

Off-the-shelf certifications and industrial strength scaled frameworks tend to miss the point. She ensures her teams understand the mindsets & principles of agility, design, and product enough to begin. Then she rewards ongoing action, practice, and learning.


10. She Combines Patience with Grit

Don't mistake her intentional focus on the “people” aspects of the Transformation for a lack of urgency or action. With the right foundation, her teams will not just avoid false starts and re-work. They will soar.


If you come across a 10X Transformation Leader, celebrate her. She'll help ensure the Transformation fully delivers on its promise.


Wonderbolt Labs shines a light on the people side of your transformation and innovation strategies.

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