Right Leader, Right Time: Why Having a Good Leader is Not Enough to Succeed

Much has been said about what qualities make a good leader. Self-awareness, credibility, humility, determination, integrity, and many other qualities are some of the words often used for this purpose. However, something that most people tend to ignore when thinking about leadership is an undeniable truth: different times call for different leadership styles.

Think of any two great leaders in history and think about what made them special. If you were to have them swap places, chances are that their skills, knowledge, and convictions wouldn’t translate to each other’s context… Even if both leaders were successful in the same area. This is no different when it comes to leading a startup, country, or any other team.

Why is it then that we tend to think so much about the qualities that make a good leader without considering other factors? This is one of the core questions that Olivia Wagner and Robert Jordan set to explore in their book “Right Leader Right Time”. The book, which is the result of Olivia and Robert’s years of experience in the C-Suite, was published earlier this year and recently debuted in Audible.

“Jordan and Wagner write with clarity and energy throughout, and businesspeople who seek to more fully understand the nature of their leadership style are likely to learn a lot,” said Kirkus Reviews about the print edition.

Olivia and Robert have made a name for themselves in the “leadership-on-demand” community for being two of its pioneers. Their company, InterimExecs, allows organizations to match with experienced executives who can help them overcome all sorts of challenges at a moment’s notice. By ensuring each organization gets the right leader at the right time, InterimExecs aims to help its customer navigate crucial challenges.

In their book, Olivia and Robert identify 4 leadership styles: Fixer, Artist, Builder, and Strategist. These styles are not inherently better than the others but are all required at different stages of an organization’s life cycle. With multiple several real-world examples and insightful commentary from the authors, the book is designed to help the reader understand their leadership style and how to adapt it as needed.

“We’ve seen that all exceptionally successful leaders have a dominant leadership style and when you match that up with the right skills, mindset and abilities, you can get extraordinary results. The right leadership can truly change the trajectory of an organization,” said Olivia about why having a leader with the correct style matters.

Organizations across the globe are facing unprecedented challenging times as the world still recovers from the economic after-effects of the pandemic, the world in Ukraine continues to soar, and financial markets are in crisis. This, in addition to social trends like the great resignation, means that businesses need to reconsider their strategy but first, they should reconsider their leadership… Only then will they be able to be sure to make the right decisions. Only then will they be able to be sure to make the right decisions.

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