On Leading Creatively vs. ‘Just Pressing On’ – Michal Fedeles

On Leading Creatively vs. ‘Just Pressing On’

On Leading Creatively vs. ‘Just Pressing On’

Sometimes we lead creatively, being fully present and vested in advancing a cause. Other times, we just press on, following our routines, not giving things a second thought. Does the way we approach leading matter?

As small children, all of us used our imagination and unconstrained creativity to capture the world as we wanted it to be – in drawings, free play, or daydreams with an imaginary friend. Then in school, we learned to look for the answers that our teachers said were right. Many of us found ourselves in jobs that came with a predefined scope, a boss, and policies that set boundaries around who we can be at work.

We are more knowledgeable, and in many aspects more capable, than are children – yet we often forget the charming, imaginative way of looking at the world as we want it to be. When was the last time you went through your whole day thinking and acting creatively, acting passionately and with the lightness of obvious purpose? Those among us who practice the art of seeing reality not as it is but as it should be – and who live to actually create it – are not only the most inspiring leaders but also the most effective ones.

So how can we nurture this spirit of purposeful creativity in what we do every day? Start by pondering these questions a couple of times a day:

  1. How alive am I feeling? Every now and then, slow down to notice your thoughts, feelings, and energy. Is what you are doing, and how, making you feel alive and fulfilled? What one tweak to your activity would make the greatest positive difference to how you are experiencing it? Try it, and see what difference it makes to you – and to your outcomes. Tomorrow, try something else.
  2. Am I becoming the person I want to be in the future? As you go about your day, are your thoughts, decisions, and actions moving you forward? How can you approach work in new ways – so that things get done, and you move closer to being who you intend to be as a result? Every day can bring you closer to the future you, as long as you are clear on what the future you looks like.
  3. Who sees me? Living and leading are social activities, and feedback gives us a powerful lever for development. When you feel more fulfilled at work and others experience your energizing creativity, going will get lighter – not just for you but also for your colleagues, friends, and family. Let them in on your thoughts, feelings and values – the things that matter to you – and let them see that you care about theirs.

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