The world to a leader looks very much like a canvas. It may be an empty canvas. Or, it may already have some paint on it. But either way, a leader with no creativity won’t be able to do anything but sit down and play with the colors or existing concept and won’t make any forward progress. In most cases the un-creative leader will try to erase or paint over what had been started.
However, enter the creative leader. Before the creative leader even begins to dip his brush into the paint and well before that brush meets the canvas, they’ve already have in mind infinite possibilities about what could be. The creative leader in my mind should always questions authority. Even when it is his own. By doing so, he opens the door to vulnerability and the ability to change.
I’ll be honest, the thing that really gets me upset is how people think creative leadership = chaos; that is so far from the truth. Its if there is a clash of the two and we are all involved in the cosmic conflict between chaos and control/structure. But creative leadership is about understanding a particular subject with extreme intensity, and then expressing that intensity with the available means to the organization.
What about right or wrong? Well sometimes there is no single, right answer. I was never good in Math, but I rocked in science. What the subjects teach is there is a single correct answer based upon logic and rules that are “black and white.” Creativity teaches one to be open to multiple perspectives and interpretations that are often “gray.” In the ultra-complex world we live in today, leadership needs to work comfortably in the “grayness” of society.
I define leadership as a creative action of leading a group of people or an organization and that leader must have a vision for the organization and the passion to transform that vision into action. More so they must be able to travel into an unexplored path and know how to manage both success and failure. Sure there are other traits like courage, being transparent, posses and succeed with integrity. But at the end of the day, creativity drives change and leads people in the pursuit of the vision.