Team doing puzzle with Increasing Creativity text over top

As a leader, one of the things you’re responsible for is increasing the creativity for you and your team.

Settling on Solutions

As leaders, our natural disposition can be to settle on solutions. That’s leadership, right? We know the problem, tackle the solution, and keep pushing forward.

Not necessarily.

In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Leaders who are expected to know and have all the answers create two primary problems.

First, they limit the effectiveness and full potential of their teams.

Second, they are subject to burnout.

Because of this, a large part of great leadership is not just about providing answers but creating an environment where our team can come up with better ones. Increacsing creativity happens thorugh an intentional delay.  Team doing puzzle with Increasing Creativity text over top

Instead of seeking answers to questions like, “What’s probable?” as a question like, “What’s possible?”

Creativity is about “What’s Possible”

One of the necessary shifts in leadership thinking is to encourage and facilitate questions around what’s possible.

Instead of moving to solution-oriented ideas and tasks, entertain possibilities of the wild and extravagant.

  • Imagine a customer writing your business praising you for your new product that helped them. What did they say, feel, or experience? Once you know what that end destination is, then you can work backwards to create the product you just visualized.
  • Pretend a new company pops up and exploits your weaknesses, what would they do? Now that you know your biggest weaknesses, you can discover new ways to beat them.
  • Plan how you would operate your business if you were operating at ten times your current profit margin. Once you are aware of that, continue the discovery processes by dreaming up those new products and services. Start testing those and implement big change.

Increasing Creativity

Implementing a creative making process for your team or organization benefits everyone.

The team will be more productive.

Your customers will have a better experience.

The community will experience greater blessing.

You will have less stress and more productivity.

However the process looks for you, take time to implement that creative process time

  • Bring together multiple disciplines.
  • Research seemingly unrelated fields or areas of interest.
  • Study the competition.
  • Hire a coach.

 

Want to work with me to increase your teams productivity? Contact me here.

Looking for more ways to stay inspired? Follow me on YouTube.

Whatever you do, don’t be too quick to settle on solutions. Look for what’s possible, not just what’s probable. Listen to those around you and look for new ways of doing things.

Girls running in a field with superimposed text: the importance of play

On our journey to productivity, we must recognize the lighter side of leadership.

The Lighter Side of Leadership

The lighter side of leadership encompasses the play that we need to do as leaders. Unfortunately, this is often something that we forget to do.

Play in children has been shown to, “to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development.”

In fact, play is so important to children that it has been declared a basic human right.

However, what we fail to realize is that play is just as necessary, just as vital, and just as beneficial to adults. Somewhere along the way, we forget to play.

Benefits of Play

“Play” as leaders extend the same benefits. Through play, we develop resilience, learn emotional intelligence, group dynamics, and practice grit. Most importantly, as leaders, we discover the benefits of laughing. Laughing lowers blood pressure and pain levels, calms tension, relieves stress, promotes creativity, and aids in the fight against depression. As it turns out, laughter really is the best medicine.

When we as leaders engage in play, both privately and with our teams, we are modeling what holistically healthy leadership looks like. We set the standard that while we take our work seriously, we don’t have to take ourselves seriously.  Girls running in a field with superimposed text: the importance of play

More than that, I’ve also become a firm believer that a team’s ability to play together is one of the easiest tests of true team dynamics and strength. One group was notoriously good at working together … or so they thought. Their meetings were very structured, a lot of agenda items were discussed, and everyone left with a list of tasks to accomplish. 

One day, I suggested that we go out together, as a group, and do something fun. Bowling, laser tag, board games, it didn’t really matter. The point was to do something together as a group that didn’t involve work. What I wanted was this group to play, to experience fun together, to find a lighter side to leadership.

It was rebuffed.

Instantly.

By all of them.

The excuses varied. Some were “too busy.” Some “couldn’t see the point.” The result was the same. This group continued to experience a slow decline in productivity, trust, and goal achievement.

Leaders without play produce leadership without vision.

Bringing in Play

All of the team-consulting activities I bring in involve play. Leadership personality assessments, team-building, corporate revisioning, sales and marketing, all of it requires an element of play. Along the way, we’re going to talk growth strategies and productivity, but not of it happens without play. 

The ability to laugh at ourselves.

To open up and be vulnerable.

A grand discovery that we don’t have all the answers. (One of my personal favorites is team-building from an escape room, if you want to know what that looks like, you can email me here).

In our leadership journey, never forget the importance of play. It keeps us grounded, builds trust with our teammates, and builds the character and grit we need to succeed.

If you want to enjoy a bit of the lighter side of leadership, watch the video below. In this installment of, “The Lighter Side of Leadership” we taste mystery cupcakes and talk about surviving life in quarantine.