6 Pointers to Upgrade Your Leadership Style and Become A Creative Leader
08 May, 2020
Leadership has been around in one form or the other, since the time of early nomads. Over the century, there have been drastic changes, namely the digital space and technology, that has called out for a logical re-visit. Many effective leaders are inculcating creative leadership practices in their organizations. What does it mean to be a creative leader? How does this change the control and power dynamics? Can cracking 'creative leadership' code could mean you are the best leader that the team/organization has ever had?
As a leader, you
- Have a long-term vision and an urge to motivate your team to reach the goal, collectively
- Look at the 360-degree macro view of the team and organization – with internal, external and tertiary aspects
- Can get up-close with situations and benefit from the macro understanding
- Programmatic approach
- Understanding the ‘why’ and working towards creating that impact
While these are usual traits of any leader, what makes one a creative leader? Let’s investigate
Jason Coudriet in his blog highlights three imperative questions that you, as a leader must always know about your team or organization
- Are they inspired?
- Are they clear on the direction?
- Do they have enough support?
Creative leadership focuses on these three questions institutively. Here are some of the pointers which can make one a creative leader
- They understand the importance of diversity. This knowledge helps in having a well-rounded approach to management. There is space for various perspectives. It reduces error and promotes a holistic approach in all activities
- They read the team dynamics before assigning the tasks for their employees. It saves a lot of time and effort. Once the leader knows, who ideates, who executes, who needs motivation, who works alone etc. they delegate effectively and let the team take over the tasks. Building the team not just over strengths but also the weaknesses is important.
- They are moderators. When the team is diverse, there is bound to be many viewpoints around a single matter on hand. Rather than asking everyone to fall in line, a creative leader facilitates intense discussions and debates. They create conducive climates for their employees to voice their concerns and criticisms.
- They know that failures are inevitable and part of the process. If the team needs to innovate, risks are common, and so are failures. A creative leader helps the team through set-backs, looks for what one can learn from it and how not to repeat the same.
- They do not micro-manage. The basis of micro-management is lack of trust. A creative leader encourages goal-setting, accountability and responsibilities as the pillars of people management. It builds a culture of trust.
- Creative leaders need not necessarily be creative themselves, but they always understand creativity. This understanding translates better team management and enabling their teams to work, think and ideate creatively.
In short, creative leaders are those who harness the creativity around them. They lead the team from within through transparency, authenticity and accountability. These creative leaders have in their team, employees who often have viewpoints that oppose their ideas. It shows a culture where the leader is ready to have discussions and put the management over themselves. Often the cultures set by these leaders encourage feedbacks, and powers ideas and experimentation.
Through creative leadership, one can observe the most important aspect that differentiates it from traditional leadership, that is, control. In the case of a traditional leader, they are the only ones who are in charge of all activities. Everything has to go through them. While these checks reduced the possibility of errors, it conveys a culture of authoritarianism. It might have served well in the era where profits were the main aim of a business. However today, we focus on impact, creativity and innovation more. As Aaron Dignan said in his book, ‘Brave New Work’, the world that we are at right now has changed. There is a need for leaders to lead with transparency, social pressure, and responsibility. It effectively changes leadership styles to be more open, encouraging and participating. So that brings us to, are you a creative leader?