Leaders who achieve meaningful success do three things:
- Imagine what others don’t
- Manage stress, time, and data
- Inspire and encourage others
These three foundational cornerstones can help you to energize your workforce and to thrive as a leader. Another way to think about these cornerstones is that they are preliminary suppositions to effective leadership. Today I would like to focus on the first foundational cornerstone: imagine what others don’t, as imagination, creativity, and innovation create opportunities.
Imagination is the ability and process of inventing scenarios within the mind from elements derived from perceiving the world around us. Effective leaders create supportive environments that encourage all people across the enterprise to use their imaginations to create new possibilities.
Creativity is the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile. In a summary of scientific research into creativity, Michael Mumford suggested: “Over the course of the last decade, however, we seem to have reached a general agreement that creativity involves the production of novel, useful products.” Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is generated (e.g., an idea, a joke, a literary work, a painting, a process, a solution). Effective leaders choose to fan the flames of creativity throughout their enterprises.
Innovation applies new solutions that meet new requirements, needs that haven’t yet been articulated or current market needs.. An innovation is something original, new and important that gains a foothold in a market or society. Effective leaders not only promote innovation, but also they reward and recognize it.
One of the greatest powers in the history of our nation has been our creative force, our ability to imagine possibilities, and our innovative strides. It’s the foundation of our culture and our country and has led our nation to be a world leader in the areas of commerce, science, and technology. The same is possible for our future if people’s full potential is unleashed, organizations are free to operate at full capacity, and initiatives are aligned with the goals of the enterprise.
In my next post I’ll talk about the second cornerstone: manage stress, time, and data.