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Silence the Creative Visionary!

Visionary leaders run the risk of overriding the ideas of the brilliant people around them. Sometimes, restraint is needed when engaging a team.

Visionary leaders run the risk of overriding the ideas of the brilliant people around them. Jack Welch, legendary CEO of GE, was known to walk into a room of great people solving important problems and proclaim “Here’s what I think we should do.”

He would go on to explain his vision and reasoning. And then, after sharing his solution for the problem at hand, he would ask, “what do you think?” It is no surprise that he would get many nods of affirmation and not much disagreement or new, bold ideas.Perhaps this is sometimes necessary in a large corporation, but never in a creative team. After all, a creative team’s purpose is to exchange, digest, and refine ideas. If you fail to capture the insights from each member of the team, then you are actually losing value.

The tendency to “act first” is a fatal flaw for leaders in the creative community. When we get passionate about our solutions, we tend to share them with excitement. However, when our responsibility is to engage the creativity of our colleagues, we must practice restraint.

The creative process is also a process of engagement. Enabling new or less experienced members of your team to share their ideas is a critical way to bring them on board. Don’t let their ideas fade in the shadow of your “brilliant” insights. Instead, practice restraint. Silence yourself. Ask questions before making statements. And recognize that fresh insight is often what moves the ball forward.

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  • nicklausdeyring

    Listening is underrated. Agree!<br />
    <br />
    An excellent creative manager is an excellent listener.

  • BeMurthy

    Lao Tzu i think said a great leader leads in such a way that at the end those who were led say…we did it all by our own strengths!<br />
    I agree with what you are saying… take for example when we learn a concept …initially we fumble to recall and apply…but as we get involved, it almost gets internalized before we even realize it!…so the team member who is not vocal… is silently saying something… will say it openly when s/he is welcomed with support.

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