One of our speakers joking asked my members “if you think you are a leader but you turn around and no one is there, are you one?”
Dictionary.com defines a leader as “
The same source says “lead” is defined as “
Is that what you think of when you feel that you are leading your company?
Nick Tasler of Decision Pulse wrote an article recently titled “You Don’t Need Charisma to Be an Inspiring Leader” and published in the Harvard Business Review. In it he says that many leaders feel like they need to have the charisma of a John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Steve Jobs to get their people on-board and motivated to effect a change in the organization. They want to inspire their troops.
Tasler says there is a simpler way to inspire change. And here I will quote from the article, “At its core, inspiration is what happens when a person feels stimulated to bring some new idea to life after becoming spontaneously aware of new possibilities.“
He and his colleagues at Decision Pulse conducted an experiment among managers at four different companies. The conclusion they came to is that our brains treat every situation like it is a puzzle that is assembled in the way we have experienced it in our life time. When that situation is presented to us differently, say a microwave makes our food cold, it makes us uncomfortable and allows us to think creatively.
Tasler says this is confirmed by researchers Travis Prouix and Stephen Heine who found that “a missing puzzle piece not only makes us more motivated to see new possibilities, it makes us more skilled at seeing new connections and possibilities.”
So instead of establishing a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) for your company, inspire creativity by cutting back on an old thing in order to do a new thing. Like the small Texas school district that dropped athletics in order for the town to rally around and save the school from being taken over by the state due to poor student achievement.
Tasler’s conclusion: if you can make a decision, you can inspire change.
What decision do you want to make that will inspire your people to think creatively?