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The Artist Leader: Harnessing Creativity in Leadership
Mature Artists are courageous, creative leaders for whom innovation is as natural as breathing. Artist leadership is inspirational. Predominantly Artist leaders understand and master their emotions while being capable of positively influencing the emotions of others. Immature Artists may devolve into self-hate due to their inability to accept their peculiarities.
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse.
Artists are natural innovators and creators. Their ability and willingness to engage in deep introspection allows Artist leaders to understand and express themselves. They can concoct wonderful visions and accomplish outstanding leadership deeds by themselves.
Artist leadership may falter, however, when it must involve others in executing or creating visions. Their intense focus on themselves renders immature Artists unable to cooperate and motivate others.
Artists are fountains of creation and innovation.
Mature artists know how to avoid the trap of self-absorption. They understand how they can turn their powers of self-reflection outward and help others find themselves. They inspire their peers and employees, bringing out the best in everyone.
Characteristics of the Artist Leader
How do you recognize the mature Artist in yourself? Mature Artists are intuitive and creative. They see challenges as opportunities to hone their problem-solving skills. If you are a mature Artist, you are comfortable being alone. But you also appreciate the company of others.
Emotional intelligence is second nature to you. You understand yourself and others and know how feelings impact attitudes. You understand and accept your feelings and are not afraid to reveal them to others. You readily share your fears and are willing to accept assistance in addressing them.
Human nature is an open book to many Artists. Understanding the depths and heights of the human condition, Artists are good at spotting potential in others.
The pinnacle of Artist leadership entails the ability to draw inspiration from others and not just oneself. The key to optimal self-understanding and Artist leadership effectiveness is to balance the amount of energy these leaders invest in exploring themselves and expressing their feelings to others. Unless this balance exists, Artist leaders will face a series of challenges concerning their identities.
Challenges Faced by Artist Leaders
Artists are different from other people. They perceive themselves and the world around them in different terms. Their self-awareness allows them to recognize they’re different. The quest to understand why they are different is what often powers their continuous exercises in introspection.
Introspection can be a blessing and a curse.
Identity-related issues are the Achilles’ heel of Artist leaders. Mature leaders discover and accept the reasons behind why they are different from others. Understanding the leadership traits that make them different allows such leaders to turn their peculiarities into leadership strengths.
Immature Artists often fail to understand why they are different. And this lack of clarity may turn them into self-loathing people who hate the traits that make them different.
The greatest fear of immature Artists is that others misunderstand them and that they fail to fit in. Feeling defective and inadequate as a result of failing to come to terms with their identities doesn’t help these leaders.
Constant emotional swings resulting from self-absorption don’t make Artist leadership genuine. It makes leaders unpredictable, placing unnecessary stress on employees.
Striving for self-understanding and overcoming these feelings of inadequacy by achieving an emotional balance are the main objectives of improvement-focused Artists and the leadership coaching professionals who assist them.
Approaching Business Challenges as an Artist Leader
When approaching business challenges, like all other leader types, Artists should play to their strengths.
Mature Artists are great problem-solvers and cautious but effective decision-makers.
Artist leadership values introspection and the examination of problems from multiple angles. Artists will listen to alternative perspectives and consider them in their decision-making.
Artists observe strong ideals and convictions. And they’re not afraid to stay true to their values when exercising their leadership responsibilities.
Perhaps the greatest strength of Artists is the ability to spark and sustain creativity and innovation in their teams. Their creativity allows these leaders to understand the variables of problems and switch them around, creating unique and innovative solutions.
Creativity is inspiring.
Leadership coaching can help Artists play to their strengths by strengthening their mature traits and helping them eliminate their immature tendencies.
Tips for Strengthening the Artist Trait
Executive coaching professionals can define personalized blueprints for Artists to help them strengthen their mature leadership skills. Some measures all Artists should consider to improve their leadership are:
- Eliminating feelings as the singular focus of their introspection exercises
- Breaking the cycle of self-criticism by focusing on positive, self-affirming thoughts
- Improving the basic elements of self-discipline like a proper diet, sleep hygiene, etc
- Redefining failure as a learning opportunity and a stepping stone to success
- Defeating the self-isolating effects of feeling different by building meaningful connections with others
- Redirecting their focus from the past to the present and future
“You have to put up with the risk of being misunderstood if you are going to try to communicate.” – Edie Sedgwick.
Artist leaders thrive on creativity and innovation and inspire their teams to adopt similar attitudes. They are deeply self-aware and possess outstanding decision-making abilities.
The identity problems of an Artist stem from a deep-seated fear of being misunderstood.
Leadership coaching can help Artists overcome their self-deprecating tendencies, prompting them to adopt more mature, forward-looking, and less self-centered attitudes.