Creative Leadership Platform

        There is no one ‘correct’ way to lead. Every leader must find what works for her and the organization. As we learn and grow throughout our lives, so must change our leadership style. Instead of a static document, this platform lives and breathes and will be adapted as I gain knowledge and experience. Flexibility, empowerment and future-ready are the principles that guide my current vision of creative leadership.

         Flexibility manifests itself in many ways. In my leadership practice, flexibility encompasses a growth mindset and open-mindedness. Research over the last century has shown that creativity can be fostered. Being creative is a set of skills and a commitment to improving those skills, not simply a personality trait.[1] Any person, regardless of title, has the ability to become a creative leader if they are open-minded and willing to learn and grow. An important piece of this growth mindset and open-mindedness is knowing and acknowledging when guidance is needed. As a leader I must be able to recognize and admit when I cannot do it all; then reach out to my network and ask for assistance. Discovering the vital behaviors that will contribute to the most amount of change in an organization and engaging the six sources of influence will allow me to adapt my leadership to different situations.[2] Two important keywords in the ISTE Standards for Administrators are ‘continuously’ and ‘evolving.’ I must embody these words in order to be a flexible leader.[3]        

An empowered leader does not feel threatened by those around her. The ability to acknowledge when an outside perspective is needed and reach out to stakeholders creates empowered colleagues. “The pace of change, the complex problems brought about by change, and the extent to which these situations call for new responses make it impossible for a single individual to possess the requisite skills and knowledge to solve all problems. Therefore, leaders must not only rely on their own creativity but must also be adept at facilitating the creative thinking of others.”1 I must encourage ‘what if’ thinking while avoiding ‘yes but’ responses. Allowing risk-taking then listening and giving meaningful feedback are ways I can empower others. The ISTE Standards for Administrators Visionary Leadership and Excellence in Professional Practice are at the forefront of creating an empowered organization.3 An empowered leader has a shared vision that inspires colleagues to continuously enhance teaching and learning. It is my mission to amplify the genius that surrounds me, not diminish it.[4]

        Future-ready leaders practice 10X thinking; they seek improvement by ten times not by ten percent. We are at a cross-roads in education in which we must look forward, not backward. Larry Page, CEO and cofounder of Google, believes “If you're not doing some things that are crazy, then you're doing the wrong things.”[5] Divergent thinking, the process of Creative Problem Solving1 and Systemic Improvement3 facilitate 10X thinking in an organization. It is through play, passion and purpose that this type of innovation is possible.[6] I must allow adult play in myself and others to lead to the discovery of passions and greater purpose. Collaboration and connectedness are integral in my practice as a future-ready leader.

        Flexibility, empowerment and being future-ready enable me to be a creative leader today and going forward. My passion for learning and growing will guide me during my never-ending journey to becoming a creative leader.


[1] Puccio, G. J., Mance, M., & Murdock, M. C. (2011). Creative leadership: Skills that drive change (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

[2] Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change (Second ed.): McGraw-Hill Education.

[3] International Society for Technology in Education. (2009). ISTE standards for administrators. From http://goo.gl/aq3d64.

[4] Wiseman, L., Allen, L., & Foster, E. (2013). The multiplier effect: Tapping the genius inside our schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

[5] Levy, S. (Interviewer) & Page, L. (Interviewee). (2013). Big Ideas: Google's Larry Page and the gospel of 10x [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from UK Wired Web site: http://goo.gl/fK4eV1. 

[6] Wagner, T. (2012). Creating innovators: The making of young people who will change the world (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Scribner.