When you look at the leaders of today, what do you see? Creativity, adaptability, and innovation are a few of the things these people have in common. I’m not talking about CEOs or billionaires. No, I’m talking about actual leaders. These people have a calling for creativity, a burning desire for innovation, and adaptability is a personal trait. Titles like CEO, COO, President, or General Manager are just that, titles.
A lot of top professionals have a hard time being creative. These positions come with too many responsibilities and constituencies that these people have to worry about. When you have to focus on turning a profit every 12 weeks, cutting costs to keep the shareholders happy, and watching your back to make sure you keep your job it can be hard to keep your eyes on the horizon.
A job title doesn’t automatically give a person courage, charisma, creativity, adaptability, or any other special trait. These things are personal traits that take many forms. If you work in a field like human resources, accounting, project management, operations, logistics, or any other specialty field doesn’t mean that you should sell yourself short on the creativity spectrum. On the other hand, if you are an employee, a supplier, a freelancer, a coach, or a consultant then the opportunity to change your organization and your own career is right in front of you.
So what do you need to do? Well for starters you should probably have a strong affection for your company as well as your clients, especially considering the fact that creativity is something special that you give to others. You really need to focus on the impact your company could have and the growth that can be enjoyed by both you and your clients.
You know what happens when you have creative leadership? Your job becomes more meaningful and gives you increased visibility. Obviously the best way to start is with something small. Complete a project early, come up with some creative and alternative plans, and try to add some unexpected value whenever possible. Do some sentiment analysis or qualitative research. This is a great way of providing new perspectives that could potentially lead to new solutions.
Have you ever heard of David Oglivy? Well, he was one of the original Mad Men (step aside John Hamm, this guy is the real deal), a real ad man. Well Oglivy adopted 10 qualities that he saw in creative leaders and they are:
- High standards of personal ethics.
- Big people, without pettiness.
- Guts under pressure, resilience in defeat.
- Brilliant brains – not safe plodders.
- A capacity for hard work and midnight oil.
- Charisma – charm and persuasiveness.
- A streak of unorthodoxy – creative innovators.
- The courage to make tough decisions.
- Inspiring enthusiasts – with trust and gusto.
- A sense of humor.
Are you looking to increase the reality of the possibilities of your career or business? Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you be? Pick one of these ten qualities. Take one a week for ten weeks. Demonstrate that quality in every single way possible in order to demonstrate which quality you are working on. After the ten weeks is up you will have turned yourself, your business, and even your clients into entirely new entities, all for the better I might add.
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