Over the years I have tried to help or at least encourage leaders to do their job and respect the position.
One of the things that bugs me, is when a leader will explain their lack of doing or solving something by saying, “…But, I am just not creative”.
It sounds to me when I hear that like it is from:
- A burned out leader who has lost their passion for the future/direction of their organization,
- A cowardly leader who is not willing to take a risk because of fear or pride, or,
- A selfish leader who is not willing to sacrifice for the greater good, or,
- A lazy leader who is not willing to do the work necessary to do their job right.
Sorry! But, I really believe that vision and creativity are learned by leaders who are not willing to let status quo or failure rule their organization. I think these qualities are developed through hard work by leaders who want their organizations to move ahead and have the passion for their calling, and are willing to take the risk and willing to sacrifice in order to solve the problem. They never give up!
Let me tell you how to be creative in just two steps!
STEP ONE: STOP SAYING YOU ARE NOT CREATIVE!
When you say that, you take your foot off the throttle and go into a coasting mode, waiting for something else to happen. You have lost control of the solution process. You will start looking for ways to work around the problem, or making excuses for not dealing with the problem, and the problem will remain. Unfortunately, people and boards have allowed leaders to say that. A leader leads and you are the leader. So, do the job. Solve the issue. Now, move on to step two!
STEP TWO: START SAYING LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN DO!
Identify the thing you want to change or solve and attack it. Give it your attention.
(1) That may mean asking someone else for advice. That person could be in your organization or they could be in another organization. Don’t hide the problem, announce the need for a solution and see what comes. People have ideas and some of them are good.
(2) Check the web. Today there are so many ideas on the web. If you are willing to do the work and read them, you may come up with an idea that will work in your situation.
(3) Visit another organization and see how they handle the situation. Perhaps they have had to solve the same issue and would be willing to help you.
(4) Get people you trust in the same room. Spell out what questions you need answered and let them share ideas. One of those ideas may be perfect for you.
The solutions don’t have to be your solutions. But, you as the leader, need to find them.
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