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The Real Reasons Most Leaders Are Struggling With Innovation Today

Looking Back At The 8 Stages To A Quality Career

By Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.Published about a month ago 4 min read

I was looking back at some of my well-performing pieces today, and I came across my 8 Stages To A Quality Career and I had a revelation.

When you read about the Struggles of Leaders today, one of the top problems you read about is Innovation.

Leaders can't seem to get their Teams to be more Innovative.

Now, this isn't a new phenomenon, it's been an Issue for a long time.

You will read things like how "Remote Working" has "Caused" this for Leaders, but when you look at the Data, it simply isn't true and makes No Sense.

All you have to do is look at Google Trends to see it.

Innovation was actually at a Decade Low during the Middle of the Pandemic and has only recently risen back up to where it was Pre-Pandemic.

This is likely due to a mix of the all-time high of Innovations from the forced conditions of the Pandemic, and Improved Wellbeing Employees were Experiencing from being out of Toxic Work Environments.

However, that is a story for another time.

Outside of Mandates, there are several other Reasons that Innovation is Eluding so many Leaders - Both Themselves and their Teams.

One of the Major Reasons we are seeing an Issue with Innovation is that most Businesses are Filled with Masters but not Sages.

See, Masters are Spectacular at Doing what Exists Today.

This is a Problem though.

There is a Completely Different Skill Set and Psychophysiological State required between being Spectacular at what Exists and Creating the Future.

To Create the Future, you need to get comfortable in the Unknown, in Questioning everything that Exists today, and you have to be great at Failing.


The Future does not Exist yet.

The Future usually Breaks what Existed Before.

What led to Today won't lead to Tomorrow.

To Discover Tomorrow, you will Fail Frequently because you don't know what will or won't work.

It's a Process.

But Today's Processes have already been Created, there's already a plan and way to do it.

If there is already a way to do it, you're not Innovating.

Which brings us to the next point.

If you want to be Innovative, you Can't be Competing.

See, in Competition Mode, you are Fighting to get a hold of what already Exists.

When you Understand Category King/Queen Economics, this also means that whoever "won" has on average 75% of the Market, and everyone else fights for the remaining 25%.

But the Problem with this is that once the Category is Established, the Market is Set.

What Leaders need for Innovation is a New Market, but they are too busy Fighting it in a Market that is already Established.

It just doesn't work.

True Innovation has No Competitors.

As soon as you look to Compete, you've Lost All Chances of Innovation.

Now, when it comes to the Difference between Masters and Sages, we have to go deeper into Failure Rate.

See, Masters can "eventually" become Sages, but most do not.


It's a Very Difficult Path.

At Minor Innovations (not the types Leaders are Hoping for), you are looking at a 90% Failure Rate.

For "True" Innovation, you are looking at a 99%+ Failure Rate.

Most people Struggle with "any" form of Failure, and it becomes Significantly Harder after we've had Success.

Many Believe that when you have some Success, you Generally are more likely to have Success.

However, a Sage knows that is False.

A Sage knows that each Success requires significantly more Resources to Attain.

Resources and Time that are not being given to Potential Sages.

See, most CEOs are More Focused on Quarterly Profits instead of True Innovation, which is part of the reason I've said The Role of CEO is Dead.

What happens when Masters and early Create/Innovate Candidates are pushed to attain Innovations based on Quarterly Profits?


Without the Proper Time and Resources to have enough Failures, you add Significant Dis-Stress to these Individuals.

High Levels of Dis-Stress then become a Flow Blocker.

Flow is the Psychophysiological State "where" Innovation happens.

If you Do Not have Flow, you Do Not have Innovation.

That Simple.

This Leads to Less Risk, which means "More" Failures required to get to Innovation, but the Quarterly "Demands" make it Impossible to Attain.

Rather than Creating New Sages, you Begin to see More Burnout.

Which is exactly what we are seeing today.

Burnout is at an All-Time High.

The other Problem with Burnout?

It pushes Employees even Further away from Innovation.

Then, with enough Burnout, you begin to have Group Burnout.

It becomes a Complete Recipe for Disaster for Leaders.

On top of it, True Sages do not want to be a part of any Organization that is in Group Burnout.

That would be a Death Sentence to their ability to Remain a Sage.

Eventually, once a True Innovation has occurred, there is more Focus on the Sage to create more Innovations in less Time, especially in Organizations with Group Burnout.

But the Group Burnout prevents New Innovation from occurring.

This becomes mixed with others Discovering what the Sage has Discovered.

When enough people understand that "Innovation", it is no longer Special.

If the Sage does not create something New, they fall back down to simply being a Master.

So, a True Sage simply avoids that outcome at all costs, and they typically just work for themselves.

They have more Control over their Work Conditions.

This allows them to Prevent Group Burnout, giving them Significantly Better Chances at New Innovation.

Without the right Conditions, the right Psychophysiology, and the right Skills, you will never have True Innovation.

Sages are what the World needs, but the current Systems are Designed to Maintain a Status Quo of Masters who are Stuck in Group Burnout.

If you want an Organization that Consistently Creates Innovations, you are going to have to Completely Break the Structures in place Today.

To Replace It, you are going to want to Design a Regenerative Legacy.

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About the Creator

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Creator of the Multi-Award-Winning Category "Legendary Leadership" | Faith, Family, Freedom, Future | The Legendary Leadership Coach, Digital Writer (500+ Articles), & Speaker


[email protected]

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Comments (2)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    "That would be a Death Sentence to their ability to Remain a Sage." Now that is scary. Nobody would ever want that. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Brin J.about a month ago

    This needed to be said. No industry wants to take accountability when they burn out their workers, but they expect to have the best people working on the latest things for them, and failure isn't tolerable. It's an unfair double standard. Humanity will not evolve if leaders continue down this path.

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