Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Top Ten Creative Leadership Traits

Creative leaders continually meet new challenges, and recognize and pursue new opportunities through bold innovations.

What are the top ten characteristics and traits of Creative Leaders?

1. Great at generating many ideas – innovative, game changing and even commonplace.
2. Always looking to experiment with good ideas. Sometimes, trying out a few times.
3. Unwavering belief in their creativity and innovation, coupled with originality in thinking.
4. Smart and bright with a positive self-image. More often, they are not born geniuses.
5. Passionate, expressive and sensitive to their teams, colleagues and surroundings.
6. Demonstrate superior judgment, and do not make quick decisions (although have a gut feel).
7. Non-conformists and independent, requiring less social approval than most people.
8. Innate ability to understand and solve the problem, and manage the consequences.
9. Born dreamers with strong imagination; however, manage to keep things in perspective.
10. Create and launch game changing products meeting a high level of quality and design.

Which creative leaders demonstrate these qualities among the top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index?

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple, Inc., immediately comes to mind with market leading innovations including iPod, iMac and soon to be launched iPhone.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, developed the innovative search technology that provides relevant answers which went on to become the world’s largest search engine.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, made the world’s largest online bookstore and the most popular online retail site.

Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay, changed the face of Internet commerce in 1995 when he launched eBay which went on to become the world’s largest marketplace.

A.G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor & Gamble, states: “Great leaders create conditions that get people organized to attack problems. They help others learn how to think, how to exercise judgment and how to take action.” (at a Kellogg event)

Michael Dell, founder and chairman of Dell, who always thought big, and made Dell the number one computer company, and is on a mission to connect the next billion people all over the world.

Jim Donald, president and CEO of Starbucks, who is fanatical about communicating using his Treo, replies to every email, returns calls at 6 a.m., and always stays close to the customers.

How about Steve Ballmer, CEO, and Bill Gates, founder and chairman of Microsoft, who made Microsoft the world's largest software company.

Every CEO and founder of the Top 20 Innovators on The Innovation Index is potentially a Creative Leader.
As Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, once said:

I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they've been.”

If you enjoyed reading this Creativity best practice, I recommend the complete list of Creativity Innovation Best Practices.

eCornell: Leading through Creativity

Creativity Innovation Archives