Leadership starts from within, and it spreads to people all around through individual contributions.
When starting a career in creative work, we first have to mimic the works of other creative people; from there, we get to establish our style. The same applies to leadership. Before becoming a leader, we need to move from being an executor of ideas to becoming a mentor and leader to others. Leadership requires a diverse set of skills, which includes; psychology and sociology.
Creative design is subjective and very personal; everyone has their own way of solving problems, and everyone’s approach is right. This is one of the reasons why it is difficult to understand the value behind being creative, especially for business. A leader without creativity finds it challenging to lead a team.
Another challenge leaders face is the ability to inspire people. One essential skill of leadership is keeping up to date with tricks, techniques, and ways to encourage people to find their strength.
A Leader needs to have the skills and expertise required, especially with creative fields. He/she has to keep being persistent and have patience.
Should focus on changing their thinking, not just behavior. Changing one’s behavior without changing their thinking is like solving the symptoms only without looking into the root of the problem. Behavior is the expression of thinking.
To change the thinking of a creative team, a leader has to work in three key areas.
1. Understand creativity processes; this process involves taking time to understand the full picture and having the best method to create work from a team perspective. Every creative team is unique, and they should all focus on creating harmony and cooperation between team members.
2. Show the value of a creative team for a stakeholder and also show how the creative team impacts and improves work results.
3. Prepare a welcoming culture and system inside the company, even build a solid belief base on the creative team and people who mentor and support the process.
It is the nature of creative work to face obstacles like; which perspective should we work with? Everyone has their own perspective, the points which are clear for you, may not be clear for others and vice versa. Every leader should discover the blind spot.
Being courageous and thinking in a different way is what a leader needs. A high level of courage and intuition so that they are sure about doing a new thing. As a leader for creativity, you have to overcome fear and pull yourself from your comfort zone in other to achieve your target and make a change. Solve the problem and get the result.
Understand the Processes
A leader should understand how the creative process works more than anyone, and this is extremely important. Any creative process is divided into three significant steps; inspiration, ideation, and implementation. These three steps give the impression that a creative process is a linear process, and that’s not the truth; it is kind of an unmeasured movement between the three steps to get the ideal result or solution.
In addition, consider the team process as creative. Everyone has their own method of generating ideas, and understanding the value of each creative process for each team member is essential.
Achieve a balance between the individual processes for each one of the creative team. Your vision as a leader should be to improve the harmony of the creative team as a group.
Principles to generate an idea
- Postpone the judgment of ideas. There are no bad ideas in the first stage; there will be plenty of time to judge the idea later. Focus on the quality first, later on, you can filter, and choose the best idea.
- Accept wild ideas that are very easy to bring to the table. Most ideas already exist; creativity sometimes comes from crazy ideas.
- Creative ideas are built on old ideas. Place a layer over another layer with enhancement, and help build a creative history rather than forgetting the past, shaping it to be unique and modern.
- Focus on the main target to solve the problem; this could generate a lot of ideas. Discipline yourself to stay on the right track.
- Manage and keep all conversations under control. The organization creates a dialog, and it is very important that as leaders, it should be kept under control. This will help you reach your target to find the right idea for the perfect solution.
- Register the ideas of what the creative team did. A visual and not high humidity sketch should be drawn fast. It should be understandable and easy to use; this will save the idea.
Trust and confidence
Give space to the creative team to let them do their work, and keep an eye on the final result. As we know, the creative process is a very individual process, and everyone has their own way to achieve the result. On the other hand, you also have to build trust with your client.
As a leader, you are responsible for team results and team growth. Do not go a day without concentrating on the solutions. Leadership requires courage, and being ready for challenges.
When we talk about knowledge, we don’t mean the main information about the design and the tool. Knowledge, in this case, means knowing more about your creative team, the challenges they face, and always how you can help them solve the problem. As a leader, you have to know that 80% of people will not be direct about what they face or give any negative feedback to the manager. As a leader, you have to work hard to build a solid connection between the teams and trust them enough to be honest and straightforward with what they think. Based on this fact, you should trust the creative team and be more open to their concerns.
Use the 10, 80, and 10 rules
As a leader follow the (10, 80, and 10 rules) to manage and monitor the creative team
10% of the time leave the team to work alone
80% give them direction and insight
10% of the time tell them what they should do and guide them to the best solution
Leaders need to change their team’s thinking rather than behavior, and a creative team is expected to understand the creative process, brainstorming, meeting, and interview. Everyone has a process to achieve a creative idea and solving problems.
Know more about your team by giving and getting feedback on a regular basis.
Work to be your team’s critical asset, not just a product, and embrace the opportunity to show the value of your creative team. Define your process and what you need to be successful. As a leader, you should work to change the nature of work culture and increase awareness for the creative team.
Final thought; success is a choice, and to be a leader needs to have a different set of skills, not just to be creative to do design; you need to be courageous and confident in many situations.