Pioneering leaders (and Everything DiSC)

Pioneering leaders (and Everything DiSC)

If you’re developing your leadership training or coaching a leader, you might want to focus on specific styles of leadership. Sometimes these seem to come naturally and sometimes they have to be studied and practiced. Either way, we hope this listing of additional readings can extend your training and conversations through assignments, book groups, or lunch discussions about leadership.

Pioneering leadershipWhat is a pioneering leader?

In terms of the Everything DiSC model, the pioneering dimension is located on the northern side of the model, which means that pioneering leaders tend to be fast-paced and outspoken.

Strengths of the pioneering leader:

  • They tend to be good at initiating change.
  • They often trust their gut instincts.
  • They’re able to bring people together to achieve their goals.
  • They tend to be inspiring.
  • They’re not afraid to try something new.
  • They’re comfortable taking the lead.
  • They set stretch goals for themselves and others.
  • They aren’t afraid to take risks.

Goals: Quick action, new opportunities, exciting breakthroughs

Would increase effectiveness through: Patience, humility, consideration

—Source: The 8 Dimensions of Leadership

What can we learn from pioneering leaders?

cartCurious about your own style? Take this quick leadership assessment.

Readings to support the pioneering leader style

During the  creation of Everything DiSC 363 for Leaders and Everything DiSC Work of Leaders and their corresponding books, Inscape Publishing’s authors and researchers reviewed a number of writings about leadership.  Here are a few they reference for descriptions, attitudes and skill of pioneering leaders.

Links to and are for your convenience. We receive no remuneration for these links. We do have a business affiliation with Wiley, but we receive no remuneration for links to their website.

Innovation and entrepreneurship, by Peter Drucker
“[Innovation] requires a systematic policy to look, every six to twelve months, for changes that might be opportunities–in the areas that I call ‘the windows of opportunity.'”

Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, by Robert Greenleaf
“Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Behind every great dream is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more than a dreamer is required to bring it to reality, but the dream must be there first.”

Leading Change: Why transformation efforts fail, Harvard Business Review
“When is the urgency rate high enough? From what I have seen, the answer is when about 75% of a company’s management is honestly convinced that business as usual is totally unacceptable.”

The Leadership Challenge, by James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner
“Leaders are pioneers—people who are willing to step out into the unknown. They search for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve.”

Winning, by Jack Welch
“Leaders inspire risk taking and  learning by setting the example.”

The Handbook for Leaders: 24 Lessons for Extraordinary Leadership, by Zenger and Folkman
“One measure of a leader’s effectiveness is the number of initiatives he or she personally champions. What projects has the leader started? What outcomes have this leader’s fingerprints all over them?”

Bring Back the Pioneering Leader, Everything DiSC Blog, May 18, 2011
“Pioneering leaders are aggressive about taking risks and enjoy the challenge of rallying people together to create an environment where creativity is encouraged.”

Additional readings

Supporting Pioneering Leaders as Communities of Practice, by Margaret J. Wheatley
“As pioneers, it is impossible to get it right the first time. No one has yet drawn accurate maps–explorers learn as they go. The maps that pioneers create will make it easy for large populations to migrate easily to the future, but their own explorations require great sacrifice and constant learning.”

Do you have any additional readings to add to this list?

by Kristeen Bullwinkle and the team
Updated October 2018


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