Creative leadership: Scary for some?

Creative Strategist, Innovator & Leader, James (Not Jim) Patsalides, asks the following question:

Does “creative leadership” scare some people?

He says, “Those of us who are Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) alums would clearly value creative leadership, but are there companies/executives out there who might be nervous of the “creative” part? How can you tell these companies from those who might embrace creativity? Why would they be nervous?”  

Here’s what I think:

Creative leadership, scary or not, is the survival key for these uncertain times.

This question reminds me of the following wise words: “Human creativity is the ultimate economic resource.” — Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class

Creative leadership, therefore, is the management and guidance of our ultimate economic resource.

Here’s how I distinguish companies that embrace creative leadership from those that are run scared:

When I talk to company representatives, I listen to the language they use to describe company happenings. Do they speak in terms of “how we work,” or do they specify individual stories about specific people and teams that creatively solve problems? When I hear specific “breaking the mold” stories about people and ideas, I know that the company is valuing creative leadership.

“The key difference between checkers and chess is that in checkers the pieces all move the same way, whereas in chess all the pieces move differently. … Discover what is unique about each person and capitalize on it.” —Marcus Buckingham, The One Thing You Need to Know

I’d say more, but I don’t want to scare anyone…

Got leadership skills?

Leadership assessment resources

Carolyn Neblett, Senior HR Manager at Capital One, asks:
“Any thoughts for online assessments that would help with building stronger management skills?”

Susan’s response:
The Learning and Development Roundtable is a terrific resource for management skills training and development.

I’m also a big fan of the Lominger competencies (360 degree feedback). Lominger’s FYI book (For Your Improvement) is a strong and valuable resource with many examples and practical steps for improving management skills.

I highly recommend, which offers an online assessment as a complement to the classic “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

For more ideas and inspiration…

Harvard Business Publishing has a great post from Bill Taylor, called “Memo to a Young Leader: What Kind of Boss Are You?”