Creativity in leadership is in Vogue these days. Everyone’s pointing to the importance of softer skills and “thinking outside of the box.”
Creative leaders inspire a more loyal following and they’re really good at things that are so in demand these days like building relationships.
But how do you do get out of the box? And isn’t using terms like “outside the box” merely illustrating how deeply trapped you are in stagnant thinking?
It’s time to embrace your inner creative and here’s how.
Become a More Creative Chamber Leader
- Ask Why. Many of us have a tendency to settle into protocols without thinking. Some rules and ways of doing things exist because other ways have been assessed and they are simply the most efficient (like round tires instead of square ones). But other things deserve another look. Don’t accept just anything. Ask why.
- Get Uncomfortable. Trying something new can be uncomfortable. Just how comfortable depends on how large of a creature of habit you are. If you’re risk-averse, becoming a creative chamber leader is going to chafe and make you a little sick to your stomach but growth is often uncomfortable.
- Stop Telling Your Heart to be Quiet. A creative chamber leader listens to intuition. We all have it but most people stop listening to it because they think adults must be ruled by logic. But intuition is a muscle. Use it and it will become stronger.
- Exchange “No” With “What If?”. Don’t be so quick to rule things out. If someone comes to you with an idea or suggestion that you don’t fully support, instead of saying no and killing the conversation add in an extra direction through a “what if” question or continue the conversation by asking “And?”. Then listen. You may still disagree with the suggestion in the end but at least you both enjoyed the exploration and possibility.
- Quiet Your World (for a moment). It is very difficult to be a creative leader with a lot of noise around you. If you have a demanding job (and what chamber leader doesn’t?), make some time for quiet reflection. Take a stroll or wake up five minutes early in order to enjoy a quiet moment by yourself. Pursue that quiet relentlessly, incorporate it into your daily schedule, and then shut up and listen.
Becoming a more creative chamber leader doesn’t have to mean picking up your sketchbook and becoming an artist (although that’s a good way to use a different side of your brain). Instead, follow these suggestions and maybe you’ll begin to see things slightly differently. That sort of change in focus can help you with creative problems solving and connections.
A must read for all Chamber Professionals...