A weekly roundup of the most interesting, useful and thought-provoking articles to help you be a better leader. This week we’re focusing on fostering creativity.
Our take: Tim Cook admires the leadership tone Steve Jobs set for Apple, calling him a “a once-in-a-hundred-years kind of individual, an original by any stretch of the imagination.”
One of the “tricks” Cook learned was Jobs’ expectation that all employees were held to the same high standard of creativity. It didn’t matter whether they worked in engineering, marketing or any other department, the expectation was the same.
Jobs’ insistence on this created a culture of creativity that served him well during his reign and continues today.
By continuing this leadership approach, Cook was able to “win over naysayers after he became CEO” – maintaining a creative culture allowed him to lean on innovation rather than the product expertise he didn’t have.
Key takeaway: When a leader is able to foster a culture of creativity, they can adapt through changing situations, even if they don’t have the exact expertise to draw on.
Our take: Number eight in Kawasaki’s top 10 is called Churn Baby, Churn. This is a state of creativity where creators take their idea and churn it out into version one, then 1.1, 1.2, 2.0.
There’s a kind of denial that’s helpful when others say that something (your product, idea, service or entire business) can’t be done, but you continue pushing anyway.
Each new version requires new ideas to keep evolving, a bubble of imagination that propels your vision forward.
Key takeaway: Creativity is one of the best ways to get past blocks, obstacles and win over those who don’t believe in you. Prioritizing it and protecting space for it allows you to keep churning out ideas.
Our take: Gregersen found that these innovators were all doing four things: constantly asking provocative questions to challenge the status quo, observing the world like anthropologists, talking to people who are not like them, and being willing to try anything (and experiment, if needed).
When CEOs have this approach, they can’t fly solo. Usually when an individual has this creative mindset, they’re not good at executing their vision. They need to build a team around them who can take their ideas and make them into reality.
Key takeaway: If you’re a highly creative leader, the above four strategies can be helpful to develop. But don’t forget to have people on your team who can translate your ideas into something tangible.
🎧 For Leaders: CallRevu CEO Ben Chodor
Ben Chodor has been able to establish a new culture at CallRevu.
His focus has been on communication – maintaining consistency – breaking down silos, and sharing ideas without fear, leading to empowered and cohesive employees.
In this episode, Ben shares key insights on:
How advanced AI technologies can be used as a tool, rather than a threat jobs
The power of the human element in customer relationships
The importance of being accessible as a leader and guiding his employees
Every week, we share an interesting long-form piece of content to contemplate.
The key to creativity is being able to connect dots that aren’t explicitly there, have ideas that are new and fresh, and adapt to situations without falling back on the same solutions.
In leadership, this diversity of thought is essential in yourself and also to foster in the work environment. Creativity flourishes when multiple viewpoints entwine to create something new.
In this essay, Audige talks about the go-to tools and processes we use and why it’s helpful (in one of her examples, life-saving) to understand why we’re using them and how to discard the ones that aren’t of service.
One of her suggestions is to learn to unlearn. Put down the tools you know and get curious about other ways you can solve problems. This requires a beginner’s mindset; humility that you don’t, in fact, know what’s best; and a spirit of openness.
This is where true creativity lies.