Traditionally, creativity was associated with people in artistic professions such as writers, painters or musicians. In today’s competitive professional environment, the need for creativity has transitioned into the business world. It has become increasingly important for organisations to rely on creative thinking, in an effort to distinguish themselves from competitors.
Defined as: “The use of imagination or original ideas to create something”, most business heads will agree that creativity is essential for a company to grow and escalate to meet global standards.
An important question here is ‘how important is creativity as a leadership skill’?
Research suggests that creativity, as a leadership skill, outweighs competencies such as integrity and global thinking. According to Ros Taylor, Leading Business Coach and Psychologist in the UK: “Creativity is about new ideas in any domain, even the world of work, whether you’re a designer or an HR Director.”
What are the skills that distinguish creative leaders from the rest?
1. Insightful & Imaginative
Creative leaders apply unique methods in their day to day interactions with team members and colleagues. They place great emphasis on encouraging innovative thought amongst others in their organisation. By providing meaningful and practical insights to problems and tasks, their management style retains an imaginative element which ensures greater productivity. When you provide inspiration to others, you foster positivity and, in the long run, this makes for a highly innovative work environment.
2. Self-awareness & Humility
An invaluable trait in creative leaders is the ability to accept failure. As a leader, humility is an essential trait because it reflects a person’s humanity. Creative leaders possess an innate awareness about themselves- what they do well, and what they don’t do so well. Most experts agree that this self-awareness is tantamount to humility. As an effective leader, acknowledging your shortcomings and making an effort to learn and grow, exemplifies the right behaviour to employees.
3. Passionate & Expressive
Passion is probably one of the most important traits which separates creative leaders from traditional leaders. A passionate leader effectively communicates his or her vision, and the vision of the company, to employees.
When you express your views and beliefs, it should be with a passion which inspires your team to take on innovative and challenging tasks. An honest expression of thoughts and ideas encourages employees to believe in what they are doing and helps to build morale.
4. Facilitate Creativity in Others
According to an IBM survey of 1,500 chief executives around the world, creativity is the most sough-after trait in leaders today. One of the reasons creative leadership is becoming an increasingly essential attribute, is due to the positive impact such leaders have on the workforce. A large part of being a creative leader is being able to inspire people to generate and develop original and creative ideas. By facilitating creativity in employees, leaders can increase workplace satisfaction and build a team that works with enthusiasm and drive.
According to Expedite’s CM Event Report 67% companies consider leadership as their top challenge.
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