These Myths About Creativity And Leadership May Surprise You Share:
- Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, June 1, 2020
As I describe the myths associated with creativity and leadership, see if you can identify the connection they both share, a connection that can exist within every one of us.
The Creativity Myth
Think of three highly creative people. Odds are the individuals you thought of are either artists or musicians. Pablo Picasso? Prince? Paula Poundstone?
The force of creativity certainly runs strong in these individuals. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, it is because they created things that didn't exist before. Artwork, music, jokes.
Can you be creative without being artistic? Can you be creative without being a musician or a comedian?
Can creativity exist without creation?
These are myths: that you must be artistic to be creative or that you must create to be creative. ("All rock-n-roll is just ripped off blues chords.")
What do Picasso and Prince and Poundstone have in common? Did they merely dabble in their respective fields? Did they probe the outskirts of possibility and meekly poke at the edges of what could be?
No! These individuals, and every other creative genius we could name, boldly and fully embraced their desire and passion. They took their talents to 11 and wasted no time on things outside them. Did Prince minor in accounting? Did Picasso keep a day job as a mechanic?
What do you have in common with these people? Here's a hint: the word starts with the letter 'P'.
Potential. You may not have the same psychometric profile as Prince or Poundstone, but you do share the potential to do the same thing they did: live fully within your strengths.
Essentially, that is what defines someone who is creative: they identify their strengths and use them to be their highest and best self.
Find the ways in which your personality is hardwired and pursue that path wholeheartedly and passionately.
By fully applying and living 100% within your psychometric profile, you can be highly creative.
The Leadership Myth
Think of three individuals you consider to be outstanding leaders.
What do they have in common? Most likely, they share the ability to motivate large groups of people toward a shared cause or goal. They get things done.
Is that the hallmark of what it means to be a great leader?
The core principle or essence of leadership is the ability to get things done. The traditional definition assumes a great leader gets things done by motivating large groups of people.
Even if you only motivate a single person — yourself — the essence remains; only the math is different.
Of the prominent leaders you thought of, what do they share in common? One thing every great leader possesses is their dogged tenacity to live and operate within their unique strengths.
Leadership encompasses an economy of motion. You start with an individual that identifies their strong points and weak points, and with laser-like focus they embrace and extend what they're good at and leave their weaknesses to others more suited to the task.
Great leaders in sports like Michael Jordan or Aaron Rodgers are great examples of this. Jordan didn't waste time training to run a mile in under 4 minutes. Rodgers spent zero time working on his ability to kick a field goal. Instead, they deeply understood their strengths and worked tirelessly to hone and improve upon them.
These players take a strong leadership role of their own performance. They maximize their potential within their own strengths.
Think back to the last five years of your life, either personally or professionally. Remember something you accomplished on your own that was fueled by your own motivation. It was probably a moment where you lived willfully and deliberately.
This accomplishment most likely felt empowering and energizing. In moments when you are operating within your strengths, you feel a sense of joy and accomplishment and empowerment, almost like a natural high. This is what business gurus refer to as engagement, or a state of flow.
How much of your life is lived willfully? How much of your life is lived within your strengths? (Do you even know what your strengths are?)
The Connection Between Creativity and Leadership
The connection that ties creativity and leadership is knowing your full potential and living fully within it. You determine the path through life that most aligns with your hardwiring and take the willful step of engaging that path.
If you understand your personality's hardwiring and tap into the full potential of your human operating system, you are exhibiting creativity and leadership. You are living willfully and deliberately in the way optimally suited to your highest and best potential.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.
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