Creativity

Why Your Workplace Needs to Be a Classroom

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I’ve written quite a bit about how and why leaders need to be continuous learners. I believe that, as a leader, if you’re not continuously — and intentionally — learning, then you’re not really a leader.

I mean, c’mon — would a real leader ever think, “Well, that’s it. I’ve learned everything I need to. My brain is full, so I’m done.” Outside of Congress, that is.

But let’s leave aside for a moment the question of whether ...

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An Open Letter to Would-Be Leaders

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Leadership doesn’t begin when you get the job.

Whether you aspire to lead a department, a sports team, a company, or a country, if you think that leadership begins once you get the job, you’ve got the equation backwards.

“Put me in charge, and I’ll show you what real leadership is!”

Nope. Show me what real leadership is, and maybe I’ll put you in charge. Show me that I can trust you with my department, my sports team, my company, my country. Don’t ...

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10 Books to Boost Your Creativity

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Last week I posed the question, “What Are You Reading?” In case your answer was, “Nuthin’,” I wanted to — as a public service — both give you some ideas on where to start and spur your creativity at the same time! By the way, I was going to call this article My 10 Favorite Books About Creativity, but I realized that I’ve got about 25 that belong in my Top 10. So you see, the math doesn’t work ...

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How Simple Is Your Vision? Great! Now Make It Simpler!

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The leader is frustrated. “I don’t know why I’m having such trouble getting the team to buy-in to the company vision! It couldn’t be simpler!”

Then he shows me the company vision. It’s five paragraphs long. It contains sentences like, “To enhance the long-term value of the investment dollars entrusted to us by our shareholders,” and “To consistently strive to improve efficiency and productivity through learning, sharing, and implementing best practices.” It reeks of having been written by a committee—a committee ...

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5 Ways to Get a Creative Idea

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Are you stuck in a creative rut? Do you need an idea—now—but nothing’s coming? Don’t worry, your creativity is still there. Your brain is just taking a little “creativity catnap.” Here are a few ways to wake it up again and get those creative juices flowing.

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1. Read an article. [You: “About what?” Me: “About anything!” You: “Huh?” Me: “Stay ...

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Are You Playing to Your Strengths Every Day?

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Yesterday I was the closing keynoter for a conference of credit union leaders. One of the speakers who was on before me mentioned what was, to me, a startling statistic. He said that the average credit union CEO spends roughly 60% of his or her day just dealing with regulatory red tape. For the record (in case you’re not a credit union professional), this is not the best or most productive use of the CEO’s time. Which begs the question:

Are ...

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Why Leaders Need to be More Like Shakespeare

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Leaders should be intelligent, right? I mean, it doesn’t always work out that way, but that’s kind of the ideal. We want our leaders—community, corporate, political—to be intelligent.

But what kind of intelligent?

There are some leaders who know everything there is to know about their industry. Other leaders have read dozens—maybe even hundreds—of books about leadership. Some leaders are particularly strong in emotional intelligencwilliam-shakespeare-62936_1280 Continue Reading →

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Is This the Key to an Interesting Life?

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“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”

~ Samuel Johnson

If there were a “magic bullet” trait for living an interesting (and interested) life, I would have to echo Dr. Johnson’s sentiments and go with curiosity.

I’ve found that the most intelligent, the most interesting, and the most creative people that I know tend to also be the most curious.

[You: “Curious about what?”]

[Me: “Good! You’re curious about that! Way to go!”]

Curious about, well, everything. These people have ...

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A “Basic” Trick to Boost Your Team’s Creativity

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Imagine this: There’s a crisis looming in your business.

[You: “Why do you have to be so negative, Bill?”]

 [Me: “Fair point. Let’s reset.”]

Imagine this: There’s an opportunity looming in your business. [You: “Thank you.”] And now you need your team to come up with creative ideas to best take advantage of this great opportunity. You want them to “think outside of the box.” You want them to “go wild!” You tell them, “Let your imaginations flow!” You expect magic.

And instead, you ...

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Why Aren’t You Hearing Your Team’s Best Ideas?

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Why are the people on the frontline such dullards? I mean, really, these people couldn’t come up with a creative idea if their jobs depended on it. Thank goodness you don’t expect too much from them, right? Because if God forbid, your business somehow depended on them for creativity, you’d be in serious trouble! Am I right?

No, I’m not right. I’m very, very wrong. And if the above paragraph sounds like either you or your business, you are very, very ...

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