3 tips to get your creative leadership to the next level

In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, and gets up and goes.

              – John Erskine, author 

When my mother taught me how to cook, she used to say that I should always think from the end: “prepare every pot you are going to use, preheat the oven,  go wash and cut your groceries” –  so I wouldn’t mess the kitchen cabinets with my oily, floury hands. And she was right: it shortens the time of cooking, cleaning and the stress that arise from hurry and clumsiness.

Pretty much the same is with business. Whenever we are able to envision where we want take our project or business, it’s much easier to plan the steps along the way. But in certain times, we don’t have that clarity in which way to turn, what is the desired outcome.

That process of breakthrough ideas – “envisioning” is a rocky journey, full of ups and downs, sometimes with obstacles and sometimes is a smooth sailing across the quiet sea.

Creative leadership can benefit from those bursts of innovative thinking and

Leadership concept on white background. Isolated 3D image

for the sake of project/business idea, the focus should be to emulate, produce and sustain those conditions as much as possible. Poetry as a tool can help us a lot:

  1. Follow the hunch

When the idea is still vague, undeveloped, but you have a hunch, a feeling – write a poem about it. Write about your successful project, the benefits it will bring, how you would feel after accomplishing desired results. This type of writing can stimulate positive mood and enhances your creative abilities.

  1. Combine and play

Creating something new can mean rearranging the existing parts into something different – with different order, structure, introducing new elements. To connect seemingly incompatible in new ways, we can produce something extraordinary and give answers to questions we have. Einstein called this Combinatorial Play.

You can summarize all of your ideas, mix them, connect in every impossible way – in poetry. There is no logic needed, there is no judgment, there is no need for “it doesn’t work” statements. Combine and Play:  you might be surprised with the innovative solutions you come up.

  1. Look at the big picture from a detail perspective

Creative leadership is able to recognize unexpected perspectives, keeping in mind the “big picture” – end result it wants to achieve, but pays attentions to detail, and how the change in tiny, almost invisible parts can make the whole difference.

One useful example is the story of Velcro:

In 1948, de Mestral happened upon his most enduring discovery while hiking. He and his dog returned from a hike covered in burrs from the plants along the trail. De Mestral examined the burrs under a microscope, studying their structure. He began working to develop a synthetic fastening system that mimicked the hooks and loops of the burrs.

The fabric went through a number of phases before it was finalized. De Mestral worked with a weaver in France to create hooks and loops strong and durable enough to cling together as he intended. Originally crafted from cotton, the fabric ultimately proved more successful when made out of nylon. In 1955, de Mestral unveiled his innovative new material: Velcro®. The name is a combination of the French words “velours” and “crochet,” translated to English as “velvet” and “hooks.”

source: biography.com

How poetry relates to this? While examining the world around us, analyzing ideas, exploring available resources – especially in poetry where no rational and logical thinking is required, we can accelerate our ability to see through things, how they work, connect, respond, to understand their background. It’s an unleashed creativity that process of focused logical elimination can jump-start our innovative process.

The idea by Mark Strand

For us, too, there was a wish to possess
Something beyond the world we knew, beyond ourselves,
Beyond our power to imagine, something nevertheless
In which we might see ourselves; and this desire
Came always in passing, in waning light, and in such cold
That ice on the valley’s lakes cracked and rolled,
And blowing snow covered what earth we saw,
And scenes from the past, when they surfaced again,
Looked not as they had, but ghostly and white
Among false curves and hidden erasures;
And never once did we feel we were close
Until the night wind said, “Why do this,
Especially now? Go back to the place you belong;”
And there appeared , with its windows glowing, small,
In the distance, in the frozen reaches, a cabin;
And we stood before it, amazed at its being there,
And would have gone forward and opened the door,
And stepped into the glow and warmed ourselves there,
But that it was ours by not being ours,
And should remain empty. That was the idea.




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