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10 Traits of a Creative Leader

The traits of a creative leader are often defined in many variations, but they all boil down to the same basic concepts. I’ve researched these basic concepts, looked at the facts I’ve learned from my experience in working with a creative leader such as Carl Alleyne from Boston Mobile Dance Studio and I’ve rounded it up into an easy to follow list with simple descriptions.

Some will argue that creative people are often rebellious, over ambitious and with roller coaster like minds. Which in many cases is true. Yeah, I’m one of those crazy creatives myself. But looking at the big picture, creative leadership has shown its self to be much more effective in the modern work environment.

Once a creative leader has established his own cultural working system and environment, the things that are born out of it are always innovative and inspirational.

A creative leader is a visionary

The visionary is always ready to go against the mainstream, against the common and traditional and against the “ordinary”.

The visionary #CeativeLeader is always ready to go against the mainstream… @BMDanceStudio Tweet this

1.   Risk taking

Creative leaders have the courage to take risks. They don’t conform to the accustomed ways of doing things. They’re always ready to try new and innovative things even if someone tells them that they might be going about it the wrong way.

For creative leaders, there is no wrong way until proven so. This doesn’t mean that they don’t consider financial loss, it’s not that they’ll be going head first and risking money losses just for the sake of it.Creative Leader - Risk Taking

2.   Unusual and sometimes crazy ideas

A creative is always trying to come up with lots of new ideas. They are natural born dreamers with a vivid imagination, so experimenting and innovation is like a game to them.

It’s not uncommon for a creative leader to come up with an idea which initially sounds a bit silly, but in the end proves to be totally ingenious.

Creative Leader - Ideas

3.   Spontaneity

Creative leaders are spontaneous, they are what they are. No pretending, no masks and no barriers. A creative leader has mastered the pros and cons of creative leadership (well, most of the time) so they’re not afraid to be who they are or to show their weaknesses. They don’t feel the need to always be right.

Spontaneity is one of the things they nurture within their teams as well. They’re spontaneous and they expect their team members to be so too.

creative leader - spontaneity

4.   Learns from mistakes

A creative leader has reached a better level of self-awareness and learned that “mistakes” are there to teach us something. They do not avoid mistakes for the sake of not making mistakes and they’re not afraid to make them either.creative leader - mistakes

5.   Open to critique

Creative leaders are willing to accept negative feedback and critique. They’re always interested in the team members’ opinions and feedback, even if it is negative.

They’re also usually willing to try other solutions suggested by their team-mates if the solution sounds original and innovative.

creative leader - critique

6.   Interactive communication

Rather than instructing and designating, creative leaders prefer to brainstorm and make decisions within the team. When required, they make decisions themselves; but in most cases, they prefer including team members into the process.creative leader - communication

7.   Passion and sensitivity

Creatives are passionate about their ideas and visions. Sometimes to the point that they can even get obsessed in a way. But in most cases, this is a good thing. Often it’s hard to persuade them that an idea actually sucks, but once they realize it themselves they’ll move on to the next awesome thing.creative leader - passion

8.   Always experimenting

All creative people like to experiment, they hate common routine and refuse to accept that it is “impossible to do something”. They’re strongly rooted in the belief that if you really want something, if you really believe in it, then you can do it. You’ll never hear a creative leader say “we do things by the book”. Because they NEVER do things by the book.

creative leader - experiment

9.   Inspirational

A creative leader is a visionary, as I already said at the beginning of the post. So they’re always inspired and they have this ongoing rooted need to inspire others as well. They inspire others with their opinions, beliefs, and ideas which move and motivate them.creative leader - inspiration

10.    Not concerned with being right

Most creative leaders don’t really care about who’s wrong or who’s right. Their approach is more hands-on, “let’s do it and see”. If you tell them that they’re wrong in doing something, they’ll hear you out, but they’ll still try and see what happens.creative leader - being wrong

A final word on creative leadership

Creative leadership is a skill that can be learned. Some people are born with more potential and ability to become creative leaders, but this doesn’t mean that if you’re not born with it, you can’t become it.

I hope you’ve found this stuff useful, if there’s something you don’t agree with or if you’d like to add something, please feel free to post in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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