Leadership is hard. It’s a lonely role, you face crushing uncertainty with elevated stakes, and you’re expected to deliver not only on your own work, but also to corral the creative minds of others and parade them into the promised land. (Oh, and did I mention that it’s often thankless?)
Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative, a consultancy that helps organizations generate brilliant ideas, warns of the following traps that even the most experienced leaders fall into:
This means that you’re pushing important decisions into the future until you are more certain about the right direction. While this initially seems wise, it has a ripple effect through the organization as others wait for you to act so that they can determine their own course of action.
When things go awry and your team comes to you for answers, it’s easy to shoot arrows at the people above you. After all, if it’s really not your fault it’s a natural instinct, and it feels like a way to maintain the trust of your team.
Creative work is highly qualitative. It’s difficult sometimes to determine whether the product fits the original objectives, and it’s often a matter of opinion. You have to make your expectations clear to the team, and you must be diligent in demanding they hit the metrics.
You’ve hired great people, yes? Then don’t smother them by constantly hovering over their work. It communicates a lack of trust, and it may ultimately lead to a dependence on your feedback, or worse to under-performance or under-thinking.
These are just a few of the (many) traps that creative leaders fall into. Leadership is about establishing the playing field, setting the rules, defining success, and unleashing your team to do what they’re wired to do. Avoid these common traps so that you don’t stand in the way of your team’s brilliance!
Read the full post here.
Read more from Todd here.