In our ever evolving world, leaders are now being called upon to expand their thinking and skill set to bring creative change to their projects and organizations. A new term, Creative Leader has emerged to coin “the next generation leader who drives innovation through fostering an environment of inspiration and imagination.”
Here are 5 Qualities of a Modern Day Creative Leader:
1. An Idea Generator: Creative Leaders are exceptionally gifted at generating ideas. These ideas may be totally new and innovative or simply a different way of perceiving an existing idea. Idea generation is an art in and of itself. Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help produce ideas. Examples include:
-Brainstorming in a inspirational environment such as the beach, a local park, an art museum, or even a kids playground. There are no set rules as to where you should brainstorm. Step outside of your office and your comfort zone and into the zone of inspiration. You never know where creative ideas may come to you.
-Meditation through movement or stillness. Modern day Creative Leaders understand the powerful benefits of calming the mind through activities such a yoga, qi gong, tai chi and meditation. Even a slow walk in nature done with mindfulness can totally rejuvenate your mind and body and open up you up to a whole new level of creativity.
2. Problem Solver: Creative Leaders are continually able to meet and overcome challenges by coming up with breakthrough solutions to problems. In fact, problem solving is at the very core of what Creative Leaders do. They have the ability to understand the problem, generate quality solutions and solve it in a rapid manner. Here are a few traits of an excellent problem solver:
-Interaction. A Creative Leader understands and highly values group participation. They are open to the ideas of others and encourage interaction amongst those they lead. They involve team members with input into the problem at hand as well as potential solutions.
-Communication. A Creative Leader allows for open communication. They believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves. Adopting a culture of open communication allows for finding win-win solutions and boosts employee morale.
3. Inspire Others: Creative Leaders have a deep sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their position. As a leader, they understand the importance of serving as a role model of inspiration to their team. Creative Leaders have several traits that help them to inspire others.
-Passion. Creative Leaders are passionate about their company’s vision and mission are are able to share and inspire others to feel the depth of this passion as well. They understand the importance of showing everyone the big picture and continuing to foster a positive environment in which others can draw a sense of purpose and meaning from.
-Integrity. Creative Leaders are authentic, honest and consistent with their words and actions. They create trust which inspire employees to believe in the direction they are providing.
4. Foster Innovation: Creative Leaders know how to support and motivate others to think and perform in original ways. They believe in fostering an environment of imagination and innovation. Creative Leaders employ a variety of techniques to help foster innovation. Examples include:
-Sharing. A good leader will encourage employees to continually share creative ideas in brain storming sessions. They understand the importance of keeping communication open and flowing through different departments. They may even bring in props and provide art supplies to inspire the creative process.
-Education. Another key to fostering innovation is to create programs that allow employees to keep learning and expanding their skill set. Often times Creative Leaders will offer trainings or even bring in outside coaching companies to empower their team with new methods for developing their abilities.
5. Project Finisher: Creative Leaders have the ability to see projects through. They go beyond simply managing a project to motivating team members to stay focused and inspiring others to get the job done on time. Creative Leaders are able to help their employees break past creative blocks, guide them to the finish line and ultimately see a idea come to full fruition.