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Powerful leaders who react promptly and rigorously to business challenges as they arise are often very effective at keeping organizations afloat. However, their convictions (having the right answers) combined with the chain of successfully solved challenges and averted crises lead to a mind trap: As they avert a crisis after crisis, reactive leaders (and, quite commonly, cliques of leaders) perceive their victories as evidence of leading the organization with great effectiveness.
What these leaders do not see is how the business-inhibiting cycle of crisis and response prevents organizations from growing. Their existing mindset simply does not allow them to appreciate how their leadership style misses the boat when it comes to enabling teams – and the organization – to flourish, grow, and remain relevant. When every new challenge is met with the same power response from the top, notoriously discounting the talents of the organization’s people, work becomes an energy drain for all, and business goes stagnant.
In contrast, those who practice creative leadership are comfortable with not having all the answers. They will not go to the same lengths of responding to a crisis at the cost of compromising their values, or disempowering their people, as reactive leaders do. Creative leaders look beyond the crisis at hand, and lead with the clarity of shared intent; engaging, enabling, and reassuring their teams along the way.
Creative leaders are comfortable with the uncertainty of how new situations may pan out, leading teams comforted by their passion for purpose and belief in people. It is through approaching challenges collectively, with everyone leading from their role, that organizations become stronger, more successful, and more evolved to face new, and inevitably more complex, challenges with courageous authenticity and calm.
The essence of highly effective, creative leadership is deceptively simple:
Watch the creative transformation unfold all around you. Soon, you will have a much smoother sailing.