Think Leadership isn’t Creative? You Would be Wrong

Think Leadership isn’t Creative? You Would be Wrong
By Roxanne Palmer

If you think creativity isn’t a part of  leadership, think again. You may have been misled by one of the following three common myths about leadership and creativity:

1. There is a misconception that creativity and critical thinking are as separate as oil and water. However this is not the case. Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas in order to generate value

2. Work and motivation: the second most common misconception around creatives is that creativity comes from rebels and that it is incredibly hard to get work out of them. Not true! Creative people have expertise on the subject requiring innovation and tend to use work as a source of identity. Because of this, they are powerfully and intrinsically motivated by professional achievement opportunities and recognition

3. The third misconception is that creativity is just about letting yourself go; kind of running around the room and going a bit crazy. Really, creativity is a disciplined process that requires skill, knowledge and control

So how can you over come these misconceptions and be the creative leader you’re meant to be?

Bring creative whilst working with others

Creative leadership of teams starts with attracting the right talent to a team. Leaders who have a strong presence often attract people through their presence and connecting to the passion and purpose of others. In dealing with teams, and pushing and pulling them to perform presence can really help too. Creative leaders can make real connections and communicate with congruence in tone of voice and body language. Creative leaders will work with what is presented in the now, and empower others by building on their energy and strengths. 

We have to see others from an open, accepting perspective. When we see from a position of judgment, we have created separation; within ourselves and between us and them. In that separation, we block creativity in ourselves and in them. As leaders, we aim to inspire others. We hope they will care about the same vision that we care about. We hope they will engage based on mutual care and commitment. By connecting to that part of ourselves, we can connect to others. When we tell or order them to do what we think they should do, we extinguish their creativity. Often, this is where dis-engagement begins.

A leader can access creativity in themselves and others

Enter a calm state of mind and being. Use slow, long, deep belly breathing in order to dial-down the sympathetic nervous system. In a few moments you will observe things from a different perspective. Never try to “force” creativity; rather “allow” it.

To generate co-creativity with another is like being in a dance. Once you are calm and connected within yourself, you are ready to engage with others on your team. Co-creativity is established through the accepting, open-hearted, curious invitation to explore another person’s ideas and perspectives. Courageous conversations will follow.

Next time you feel as if creativity belongs to someone else, reflect on how you brought forth a creative solution. As you focus on creativity as a way of engagement, your creative muscle (and confidence) will strengthen.