Guest Post: Leadership is Creative from Greg Richardson

by Alli Polin on May 7, 2013

Leadership is Creative

I am honored to have a guest post today from a friend, Greg Richardson, who truly knows the value of the quiet and being comfortable in your own skin.  He reminds me often that the more we learn about ourselves, we continue to grow.  

The leaders who inspire me do not tend to be particularly artistic. They are really more creative than artistic.

Some people in positions of leadership are true artists. They have practiced their technique. They appreciate good methods and use the best materials they can. They produce results that are their masterpieces in various media. Their leadership is all about finding new ways to express their own talent and perspectives

The leaders who inspire me are more open to listening and learning. They have done the work they need to do to know who they are in their deepest selves. They share themselves with the people around them without imposing their own views and methods. They bring out the best in others by sharing what is truest of themselves.

They are not focused on producing more and more as quickly or as easily as possible. They recognize the value of quality as well as quantity. They appreciate that creativity is as much about doing things well as it is about doing things in new ways.

Their approach to work is more creative.

Inspiring leaders appreciate the importance of letting go of what gets in the way. When asked how he was able to carve a beautiful stone angel from a single piece of marble, Michelangelo responded, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

Again and again, the leaders who inspire me have shared themselves to help me set free the deepest parts of myself, clearing away the bits that were in my way. I am still emerging from the stone.

Are you more creative, or more artistic?

What do you see in your own marble?

Greg Richardson

(Photo credit)

Greg Richardson is a spiritual mentor, and leadership and organizational coach, in Pasadena, California. Greg has served as a criminal prosecutor, an executive, and a university professor. Greg’s website is StrategicMonk.com and on Twitter he is @StrategicMonk.

 

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo May 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

I loved this post. “…the leaders who inspire me have shared themselves to help me set free the deepest parts of myself, clearing away the bits that were in my way. I am still emerging from the stone.” really spoke to me. I am in the first few chapters of The Icarus Deceptions: How High Will You Fly audio book written and narrated by Seth Godin. Seth challenges us to treat work as a form of art. He shows us that being an artist is an attitude not a specific talent. I started the book yesterday and I read this post today – both challenging me to share more of who I am to help others share their art, their work. It is certainly a theme that I need reinforced in my life. I have been a fan of Greg’s through social networks for some time now and he always seems to touch on the practical and relevant shifts in heart of a leader while speaking to the spiritual and internal work that must be done to be effective in leadership. I am both artistic and creative. I am learning what that really means and how important it is to value and share those parts of me with others. Thank you Alli and Greg for a great post.

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Alli Polin May 7, 2013 at 10:25 am

Jo – Thank you for this heartfelt comment on Greg’s post. I love what you wrote “being an artist is an attitude and not a specific talent.” Greg’s post really resonates with me too… uncovering those bits of our being that have been hiding even from ourselves. There is creativity in the discovery and in the sharing.

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Terri Klass May 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

Love the post, Alli! Thank you for sharing the gentle soul of Greg! I am also inspired by people I have met along the way who listen and share their profound stories with me. When I first became a trainer, I had a wonderful boss who was a great listener and helped me put my thoughts into presentations that reflected me. She was so gifted in seeing my talents and guided me to create my unique style. I will never forget her kindness and patience. Thanks again for such a special post!

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Alli Polin May 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

It’s amazing that when people truly listen to us, they also help us by holding up a mirror and to see ourselves as we are, with all of our gifts (and shortcomings too). I love the story that you share from working with your boss that helped your style and personality to emerge in your work. I think that’s the most wonderful moment, when we realize that we are authentically present in all that we do.

Greg has an amazing way of helping us to see more deeply the impact of our actions and choices. Gentle soul is the perfect way to say it.

Many thanks, Terri!

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D. Scott Smith May 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Greg,

Excellent work to capture a challenging concept. I have seen execution in many occupations and skills sets that have that little bit extra…something hard to define and quantify. I started by explaining it as Technician and Artist. However the concept got lost when we assign certain occupations as “creative” (e.g. marketing).

I have since settled on Technical and Elegant. Both are fully competent…nothing is lacking in the execution of the work of the Technician, it just that creative flair that makes the other Elegant.

Wonderful post!

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Alli Polin May 8, 2013 at 4:01 am

Scott – Technical and elegant…. love it. What a great way to capture the difference that creativity makes even in the most technical of positions or roles. Greg really captured the essence of how subtle creativity can be and how much it can teach us about ourselves and the leaders that listen to us and learn with us. Thanks for adding some more depth to this post.

Alli

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Greg Richardson May 8, 2013 at 8:50 am

Thank you, Alli.
I deeply appreciate the opportunity to trade guest posts with you, and really enjoy working with you.
Thank you for your creativity and your leadership, and for great mystery novel recommendations!

Greg

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Alli Polin May 8, 2013 at 10:03 am

Greg – Thank YOU! You have made it an absolutely wonderful experience to trade guest posts with you. My very first – who better than you? Thank you for sharing yourself here. I appreciate you!

Alli

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Hoda Maalouf (@MaaHoda) May 8, 2013 at 11:44 am

Dear Greg,
First let me thank you for this beautiful piece of art! I love the way you write! Have you written any book?
Now regarding these 2 questions:
Are you more creative, or more artistic?
I draw a little, but my creative part is far more developed. Any small idea triggers lots of things in my head.
What do you see in your own marble?
I love arts, I love science but I love mostly people. I love to motivate them to do something creative. I guess my marble is full of people waiting for my help to make their dreams a reality.
Hoda

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Alli Polin May 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Hoda – Love your reflections on Greg’s questions! I’m so struck by your response to what you see in your own marble … So beautiful and much clarity and power behind it. Thank you!

Alli

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LaRae Quy May 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Hi Alli and Greg

Just love this post. And I love the definition of creative leader: “They are not focused on producing more and more as quickly or as easily as possible. They recognize the value of quality as well as quantity. They appreciate that creativity is as much about doing things well as it is about doing things in new ways. Their approach to work is more creative.”

It made me think about how I look at creative leadership, and creativity in general. Thanks so much for the thought and love that went into this post.

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Alli Polin May 8, 2013 at 8:39 pm

LaRae,

Greg’s words also gave me pause to consider what creativity looks like. I greatly appreciate his definition of the creative leader. Glad it resonated with you too.

Best,

Alli

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skipprichard1 May 8, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Alli, thank you for featuring Greg. I’ve been a fan of his blog and his wisdom. There are so many great thoughts here in this post. I won’t repeat them, but I must say he has an incredible way with words.

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Alli Polin May 8, 2013 at 10:45 pm

It’s my pleasure, Skip! I agree with you! Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Alli

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