Good leaders, some experts say, are creative rather than reactive. In other words, they anticipate future demands; trends and make new products or tailor the ones they already have to suit that future. According to Forbes, “The most successful leaders are instinctual decision makers. Having done it so many times throughout their careers, they become immune to the pressure associated with decision making and extremely intuitive about the process of making the most strategic and best decisions.”
For many reasons things are changing very rapidly, day by day. That’s why it’s more important than ever to be able to understand how those changes will affect your business…and establish ways to take full advantage of those changes through leadership.
The difference between a creative leader and reactive leader:
According to Reactive to Creative Leadership by Bob Anderson & Bill Adams “The kind of organisational cultures we are moving toward today (innovative, creative, engaging, agile, adaptive, high-involvement, high-fulfillment, etc.) require Creative Leadership. Reactive leadership is incapable of ushering in these futures. Reactive Leadership is too defined by past conditioning (and habitual responses to fear) to stand autonomously in the midst of the current culture and change it.
Creative Leadership is the life-stance of continuously focusing on a desired future and in the midst of the current culture (with all of its mixed messages and political risks) taking authentic action to bring that vision into being over time.”
It is clear that creative leadership is the best leadership approach to adopt if growing your business, creating an engaged and motivated team and developing current products and services are all important factors to you.
Creative business leaders are always asking themselves the following questions:
- What do potential customers really need, now?
- What worries them?
- What causes them pain?
- What would they be eager to buy?
- How can I make our current customers happier?
- How can we make the products we sell them better?
- More useful?
- More valuable?
Do you ask yourself these questions? Regularly? And if you do…do you come up with not just good, rather great answers…answers that can advance your business?
Test your creative skills against the following checklist:
Ask yourself…are you:
- Internally driven
- Focused on the work, not politics
- Goal-oriented around, rather than crisis-centered
- Good relationship builder
Ask yourself…do you:
- Make full use of your strongest talents
- Set aggressive long-term goals
The above are all characteristics of creative leaders. Here are the traits of “reactive” leaders.
- Are motivated by external factors like money and power
- Are focused on corporate politics, not the work
- Allow their time to be dictated by what’s in their inbox
- Sometimes ignore their strongest talents in favour of “good management”
- Plan in one- to five-year increments
- Believe nothing is sacred and relationships are expendable
How many of those reactive characteristics apply to you?
How would you grade yourself?
The best leaders are indeed long-term oriented, people-friendly, loyal, eager to provide better products; services, and unconcerned about where they stand in just about any pecking order…either in their industry or within their business.
And that’s something to think about…
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