Creative Leaders are people who have worked through their creative blocks, taken ownership of their unique creative expression, and begun walking in power to change the world. They are people who cultivate communities of thriving creatives. Creative Leaders actively and intentionally invest in the lives of people around them.
Creative Leaders are people who have climbed a mountain of success and then turn to reach out and help others navigate that same trail more quickly and effectively than they did.
Creative Leaders are marked by a distinct set of characteristics. We dive much more in depth into these in our podcast episodes on Creative Leadership but here are a few:
Perfectionism, the old enemy of creativity, has two faces: Procrastination and Workaholism. In our fear of imperfection or failure, we can resort to either overworking, or not starting the work at all.
Perfectionism delights in finding any small detail and blowing it out of proportion until it looks impossible to overcome, constantly grading the outcome of every project before it’s even started. At it’s heart, Perfectionism is a form of fear which insists on holding everything we produce up to an unattainable standard.
Impostor Inspector is that condescending whisper from the shadows that you are a fraud whose “real” level of talent will soon be revealed. She insinuates that your accomplishments are the result of flukes and luck, rather than skill.
Impostor Inspector projects your current skill level with potential future projects and responsibilities to try to show you that you will never measure up to the responsibility that your true talent could bring. What she fails to include in this negative messaging is the growth, change, and maturity that will come as you progress through your creative journey.
Ringleader Regret is a master entertainer who lives to fill your mind with reruns of his show, "Mistakes of Your Life." He thrives on throwing every mistake, missed opportunity, or failure into your face to keep your attention focused on the past.
Regret's goal is to preoccupy you with either the painful past or the missed-potential future. To this end, he employs a gang of miscreants named Shoulda, Coulda, and Woulda to create an endless highlight reel of your worst moments.
Striving to keep you from reaching your actual potential or moving forward into your future, Ringleader Regret works hard to keep you from seeing that mistakes are a doorway into growth, and failure is an opportunity to change the future in a positive way.
Often disguising himself as “constructive input,” Colonel Criticism rushes in with his long, condescending finger ready to point out every perceived problem with your fledgling creative work. He looks for every opportunity to discount or discredit your work on the basis of some perceived flaw or error.
A stickler for rules and regulations, the Colonel is intolerant of even the slightest deviation from standard procedure. Colonel Criticism throws the baby out with the bathwater, using any mistake or deviation from the "norm" as an opportunity to flush your creative dreams.
Comparison places all of your focus on someone else, trapping you in a constant analyzation of what they have that you seem to lack. Comparison limits your perspective and redefines "good" and "valuable" as belonging only to a specific set of skills or gifts or style possessed by someone else.
Can I tell you a secret? Comparison is a liar.
While comparison tries to keep you occupied with your head down focused on someone else, you miss everything beautiful and unique about yourself! Comparison lies because YOU are so powerful. Its goal is to keep you from seeing who you really are and stepping into all of your potential.
So, how do you escape comparison's trap?
There is a misconception about creativity that creativity is only for a few, select people. You either have to be born with some artistic gift, have a bohemian personality, or be confined to the realm of fine artists.
This narrow definition of creativity is not only misleading, it has created a culture where many people have bought into the lie that they are not creative. The whole "left brained" or "right brained" distinction has allowed people to be pigeonholed into a very limited mindset. If you really only used half of your brain, you could only see with one eye.
What if you are missing half of your world because you believe that you're not creative?