Creative Leadership

It is widely accepted that “management” is a precursor for successful transition into leadership.  The misnomer is that if one holds a title, he/she is bestowed the management crown.  When we think about the core values of leadership, there is a multitude of concepts that vary in definition.

Creative leadership is defined as; the ability to create and realize innovative solutions especially in the face of structurally complex or changing situations. It refers to those people who, when all is shifting and new approaches are yet unknown, can still create clarity of purpose for their teams.

I am enthralled with the varied opinions, insights, and theories of multifaceted leadership. A curiosity that has led me on the perpetual path for greater insights into the profound scope of leadership.  A curiosity that set me on a course to intersect the rudimentary attributes and styles of leadership.  These studies stretch far beyond an interest and into the applications of theoretical, philosophical, and psychological theories of leadership.

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

For the purposes of this article, we submit creative coaching leadership concept to this subtext.  Our theoretical discourse will be written from the perspective of these five core principles.

First, we need to agree that the basis of accountability of creative coaching leadership is, raising the performance stakes that produces results.

We define these principles as this:

  1. Personal goals aligned with accountability to the team culture, attitude, work ethics, vision, and mission of the company.
  2. Accountability to one another to perform the essential job functions that move the team towards the vision, mission, culture, and performance expectations.
  3. Development and deployment of performance expectations and timelines. Pinpointing short-and-long-term goals that clearly identify responsibilities. Assessing accomplishments to-date and identifying the skills to build and strengthen those behaviors.
  4. Listen with intent to understand, the individuals personal and professional growth opportunities. 
    • State the facts and defer from hyperbole.  Approach with compassion and curiosity and do not allow negative emotions distract you with thoughts of worse case scenarios.
    • Describe the impacts of behaviors. Be objective and focus on the issue.
    • Do a reality check.  How does the behavior match up with core values?
    • Take a pause. Listen for key insights by raising the radio volume for what is being said or, not being said.
    • Agree on the next steps.  Create concrete actionable steps and a timeline for achievement.
  5. Everyone will have performance challenges at some point in their career. However, poor performance is your responsibility.

Performance coaching shares similar traits to creative leadership.  Where they intersect is the concept of a collaborative approach to align relational and behavioral expectations. Creating clearly defined objectives that engages the individual(s).

Building an alliance plan that focuses on relationships and moves them towards goal achievement. By staying in “high-support-high challenge” zones we ensure the feedback leads past limiting beliefs and overused strengths. 

The power of performance praising is more than anecdotal. Performance praise is shown to improve revenue and productivity.  Employees say that they are less likely to stay at a job where their direct supervisors fail to recognize their performance personally and officially.  

Everyone wants to succeed, but not everyone is willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen.  Most sports teams practice far more than they play.  In the business environment every day is game day. And practice is often limited to workshops, training sessions, and conferences.

The limited practice in business makes it even more important that practice be effective and efficient.  Improved performance helps accelerate achievement for both individuals and teams.

The principal rule of consistency predicts the best ideas for accountability reside with the internal psychological pressure and external pressure to be consistent in what we say and do. 

“There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people .”

Simon Sinek

Telling a person what to do does not engage psychology.  However, when you ask questions and they commit to you, you engage psychology.  Many studies show people will be more likely to follow through after they have committed. 

The scarcity rule says, “the reality that humans are more motivated to take action when they believe they will lose something vs. gain something.” Deployment of the creative coaching leadership philosophy is to find the scarcity rule to performance. 

Creative coaching leadership helps to foster a culture of belonging, give voice to everyone on the team, and with shared purpose – empower everyone to be vested in the overall team success. 

Written by Joseph Clementi #CoachJoe

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