Yesterday, I had a nice conversation with Michael Ray, author of The Highest Goal. I did a 3 part blog post on The Highest Goal a few months back. You can read these posts here.
Anyway, I was asking Michael about creativity and breakthroughs and will be using his input in my More Space essay. You´ll here more about Michael´s thoughts and advice in future posts, but there´s something he said that I want to share today:
"Creativity is idiosyncratic – each person has their own way."??
We all have our own way of being creative and producing breakthroughs.
I think many aspects of business are idiosyncratic.
We have our own ways
of getting things done.
There are many perfectly fine ways of doing things. We need to be the masters of our own paths and journey. Yeah, there are some wrong ways too, but I don´t think we tolerate constructive idiosyncrasies enough in business.
I used to be more interested how people did things. Now I am more interested in why they do things and the results.
I can think of managers who were charming and gregarious who employees hated working for.
I can think of managers who had the personality of a rock who employees loved working for.
I can think of managers who were analytical and methodical who lost control of their results.
I can think of managers who couldn´t count past ten who never lost control of their business.
I can think of managers who were Joe Fridays (by the book) and very successful.
I can think of managers who were Joe Fridays and unsuccessful.
I can think of managers who spent their entire day in meetings and still got everything done.
I can think of managers who didn´t attend meetings and could not get their work done.
I could go on and on but I will spare you.
So what´s the point? Actually, I have 6 points.
1. As we grow as leaders and help coach others, we need to be true to ourselves.
2. Our intent and our ability to communicate that intent and then act consistent with our intent is critical. We often inadvertently bungle both parts of this point.
3. We need to have our head in the game or get out. What´s the game? Producing results. Developing people. Making a difference. Growing the business. De-hassling the organization. Regardless of our individual tendencies, if we "check out"?? we are useless as leaders and managers.
4. We are most powerful and effective when we are fully engaged. A fully engaged introvert analytical geek is WAY more enjoyable to work with than is a burned-out/entitled social and gregarious person. It´s not about style, it´s about engagement. Are you actively in the game?
5. Success is being the best expression of who we are and making a positive contribution. Whatever our style and idiosyncrasies, we are successful when we are true, aligned, consistent with our values and goals.
6. Anyone can be a powerful leader.
So what does this mean for management and leadership development? What skills and capabilities should we be building?
While learning a new filing system might be beneficial, I think these pragmatic HOW-TO sessions should occur AFTER we help managers and leaders get good at points 1-6 above.
Corporate training should start with the stuff that helps us be our own kind of leader. Most corporate training programs have this backward and many never get to anything dealing with points 1-6.
Can all the stuff imbedded in points 1-6 be taught? You betcha it can.
The person wants the development
And is genuinely interested in making a difference as a manager and leader.
Here´s the cool thing. The development associated with points 1-6 is pretty easy to deliver and less expensive than many of the programs corporations now pay for.
How are you spending your management and leadership training dollars? What courses are listed on your development plan?
Fine print: I am not suggesting that truly bad personality traits, like enjoying hurting others, should be nurtured. Most of us have good intent and want to make a positive difference. Within this well meaning majority, I think there is a lot of room for individual styles and practices.