Evergreen Leadership Blog

Creativity

Leaders as Creators

In this series on creativity within organizations, I am reposting this blog post from 2015. In it, I describe the role of leaders as creators.

An artist looks at their work in a totally different frame of mind than a mechanic does. The artist sees infinite possibility. The mechanic sees a problem to be solved.

As a leader, you are often in the “mechanic mode”. People bring to you problems to be solved, work to be done, decisions to be made, dilemmas to be fixed, and that is a valuable and ever-present part of the role you play.

But how often do you play the role of creator? Of someone who can envision a better future and then find a way to make that vision a reality?

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Innovation

Five Mistaken Assumptions Business People Have about Creativity and Innovation

Continuing on with my exploration of innovation and creativity in the “workplace”, let me share some common myths I encounter as I talk about creativity in the business world and the role of leaders as creators. The notion clearly is dissonant to many who hold the prevailing belief that work is work and creativity is play or at best only for the arts. As I peel back what underlies this notion that creativity and business are integrated rather than disparate.

Here are some of the common beliefs that block creativity from business that are well worth a critical examination.

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Community Builders

Congrats to the 2017 Evergreen Leadership Community Builders

Annually Evergreen Leadership seeks out 15 leaders across the state of Indiana who are taking active leadership roles in their community. In addition to formally recognizing them for their leadership, they are invited to attend an Evergreen Leadership Retreat at Wooded Glen.

Here they connect and learn how to create as a leader. Each person leaves the retreat with affirmation, support and a vision of something they can create as a leader. Those creations vary by individual, with some being very personal, others work focused and others community focused.

Today I’d like to share with you our 2017 honorees.

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Development

Big News! Introducing LEAP: Leverage Your Experience. Achieve Prosperity.

I have something very exciting to share with you!  It’s based on this:

Without doubt, the best decision I’ve made in my professional career was to leave corporate to do independent consulting.

Recently, I realized this: I am uniquely positioned to help others launch their business. I’ve had very large clients and very small clients across industries. I’ve taught a consulting course at Purdue for 5 years. And, helping others make positive change is the hallmark of my work.  I can give others an experienced guide, process and tools to help move from working for someone else to working for yourself.

So I’ve partnered up with Katie Workman (social media expert / graphic artist), and I have created LEAP – a 3 step process that helps professionals with marketable skills make the leap from corporate to consulting.

Learn more about LEAP in this exciting announcement!>/p>

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Renewal

Outsmarting Overwhelm

I fall prey to feeling overwhelmed more than I’d like. The “to do” list is long and grows like a teenager in a growth spurt. At times there are so many tugs on my time that I can find myself paralyzed, seemingly unable to tackle even one of the hundreds of tasks facing me.

As I consult and coach and teach, I know I am not alone. Many are overwhelmed by jobs that demand them to be available 24/7.

Thankfully I’ve grown wiser about overcoming overwhelm after a lifetime of practice. As such, here are the tactics that I’ve found work to outsmart overwhelm.

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Intention

Words Matter

Even 15 years later, I still recall my eye-rolling. My long sighs. My suggestion that we just move on and get some “real work” done. And the rebuke.

The setting was one of those way too long, want to pull your hair out sessions with way too many people crafting a mission statement for the team. We agreed on the big points and were divided on the finer ones – the exact choice of words, their phrasing, and even their punctuation.

Continue reading to find out what happened in this activity that helped me learn an important lesson about words.

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Development

Positive Discontent

Positive and discontent. The words don’t seem to go together. For we know, all too well, those times of discontent. When we are out of sorts and at times grumpy. Where things are just not right. When our worlds are not awful but neither are they awesome.

So to describe those times of discontent with an adjective of “positive” jolts us. Far better pairings might use the words dark or disconcerting or uncomfortable. But positive? How can that be?

Learn more about how discontent can be positive and create innovation by reading the rest of this article.

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Goals

Pre-enactment: A Way to Create the Future You Want

I am a big advocate of working forward rather than backward. I’ve transformed my life into one of meaning, fulfillment, and joy by using several methods of envisioning what I wanted to create in my life.

As such, I’ve journaled, created vision boards, set HEART goals, and created accountability systems to ensure that I acted unfailingly on those dreams. And, it’s worked.

Yet, as powerful as those techniques are, none are nearly as amazing as a way of envisioning (and then creating) a better future than one I learned from Joanna Taft, director of the Harrison Center for the Arts and visionary community leader.

Her question is this. Rather than reenact, why not pre-enact?

Learn more about pre-enacting by reading the full post.

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Learning

Reframing – “Fix Your Face”

Two women leaders recently shared a wonderful story to me that struck at a basic truth. Here is how the story unfolded.

Michelle was commanded (not asked, but told) to participate in a developmental program that required her to be out of her regular work for a day and a half. Her coworker, Kenya, also was asked to participate in the same program; albeit in a more inviting way.

Michelle’s first response was negative. She was angry. She was frustrated. She vented to Kenya about how annoying, unjust and terrible this whole thing was. Kenya’s first response was different. She was curious. What was this program about? How might it help her?

So when Michelle’s email came to Kenya, with all the disbelief and complaining and frustration, Kenya presented Michelle with very sage advice in three short words: Fix Your Face.

Keep reading to learn more about the story of Michelle and Kenya, reframing a situation, and how to “fix your face”.

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