Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh the thinks you think if you only try. ~ Dr. Seuss
The real genius of any creative endeavor is that it requires action to become something tangible, something more than an idea, speculation, or plan. A willingness to try, to take risks, and to work toward an imagined reality are all necessary to achieve any desired result. However, success is neither binary nor linear. Just because we do X and then Y does not guarantee that we gain Z. And the path toward our vision is always filled with twists and turns, highs and lows. It’s for these reasons, and many more, that creativity is a necessary component in every great organizational culture. That said, it’s rarely as explicit as it should be.
We seldom see or hear of strategic plans with areas completely dedicated to creativity and innovation. Yet, breakthroughs and break-froms both require imagination and the type of unique thinking that moves us from the past and into the future. It’s why we must make changes in the way we lead so that we capitalize on creativity versus the mistakes we make when we squander it.
The first low level leadership behavior we feature this month is passing judgment, which is unfortunately a common method to reinforce the behaviors, actions, and attitudes of our workforce. Undoubtedly, leadership and evaluation go hand-in-hand. But, great leaders are skillful in the nuances of positive reinforcement, both in celebrating what they want repeated and in using corrective action for the changes they want made.
Challenge Yourself–TPA: A Framework for Growth Through Reflection
Think: How often do I use praise versus criticism? Do I praise people enough for them to hear my corrective feedback when I give it? Do people feel psychologically safe in doing their best work?
Plan: Target specific behaviors that people need to exhibit that will reinforce their creative output–challenging the status quo, thinking outside-of-the-box, seeing new perspectives, valuing diversity, lifting others with compliments, using candor, etc.
Act: Verbally or in writing praise people as they engage in the above behaviors and attitudes at work. Provide praise any time you see or hear of someone who is acting in a creative way or supporting a creative culture.
Stay tuned for more challenges, reflection questions, leadership models, podcasts, and more by following theschoolhouse302.com. It’s our job to curate, synthesize, and communicate so that you can lead better and grow faster. In a world plagued by nothing but noise, we help you by getting to simple.