With the development of digital technology, opportunities for growth have exploded. However, building a sustainable business is harder than it’s ever been. Competition is global and fast, and without “build a strong team” strategy, staying ahead is mission impossible.
Your organization’s success is entirely in your team’s hands. But their bond, drive, and creativity, is primarily dependent on you. So how can you build a strong team that will outshine everyone and takes your company to the top?
How can you build a strong team?
The leader’s role is to lead, but not just by making decisions. Whether you like it or not, as a leader, you are a role model and trendsetter, and your actions can be a roadblock or a catalyst to growth and innovation.
Creative leadership is a modern leadership style that empowers cooperation and creative thinking. If you are looking for a way to drive continuous innovation and build a strong team, this is the best – if not the only way to achieve that.
Why creative leadership works?
1. More creative ideas
Ideas, as the fruit of people’s imagination, multiply and build on one another by creative teams. No one member is “smarter” than the others. It’s all a matter of perspectives, prior knowledge, and even accidental discoveries.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and neither do good ideas.
Science has proven time and time again that people are most creative when they are relaxed (the best ideas really come to us in the shower). To get those creative juices flowing, you need to create a relaxed and safe environment, and the only way to do that is by continuously empowering creativity.
2. More great employees
Outdated leadership styles aren’t very effective in boosting growth anymore. Perhaps, they never were. But in the past, employees had no choice. In contrast, today, as much as 44% of employees leave organizations primarily because they didn’t like their boss.
Building a successful business calls for special skills and only the best employees can help you build it. They are hard to find and even harder to keep around, but if they like you as a leader, they are far more likely to come and stay.
Don’t forget: Products and solutions are built by the employees. They can be your biggest competitive advantage.
3. More collaboration
As a leader, you will face many challenges, some of which will be: employees that and aren’t used to collaboration; many different personality types that stir up tension in group work; and perhaps the biggest: an organizational culture that empowers individual work and hierarchical decision making. Luckily, as the leader, you have the power to change that.
Throughout history, collaboration has proven to be the driving force in our civilization, and the same holds true today.
How to become a creative leader?
Creative leadership boils down to three simple ingredients. But if you want to apply them, you will need to accept your shortcomings and start improving day by day. You will definitely need to go through some (potentially painful) introspection. However, the fruits of your labor will be abundant, as you see your team becomes stronger and their wins accumulate as time goes by.
Take it from me: your team wants you to become a creative leader. I have seen the power of creative leadership firsthand, having worked with a creative and not so creative leader. The difference in my productivity and creative ability is major.
I am motivated to go to work and do my best every single day. Creative leadership brings out the best in me, and everyone else in my team. I could never go back.
Building a strong team comes down to you. Now that you know that, you are ready to learn how you too can become a creative leader:
Creative leadership is about emotional intelligence. Being empathetic as a leader shows your employees the power of empathy, and makes it more likely they will also be more empathetic toward each other. Empathy is what makes a group of people a team. The use of empathy is also key to understanding customer needs, which is the key to the success of any business.
Here are some small steps you can take today to become more a more empathetic leader:
Listen carefully and never undermine anybody’s ideas. Use first names when talking to everyone. While in a meeting or workshop, be completely present (not just with your body, but also with your mind). Don’t check emails, and don’t pick up the phone. Provide genuine praise and recognition when they did something amazing. This also enables you to criticize their work without causing hostility.
Trust is the no.1 for a strong bond. A common sense of trust will make your team strong, and without a strong team, you really can’t hope to build a sustainable business.
Back in the days when social and organizational structures were predominantly hierarchical, leaders didn’t feel the need to be transparent with their subordinates. They were making plans on their own and seek advice only as a way of confirmation for their initial ideas and plans. But those days are long over. If you want your employees to be motivated, productive and most importantly creative, they need to know they can trust you.
On the other hand, you also need to show them you trust them. That means no more micromanaging.
Micromanaging has also been linked to lower productivity and corporation – as your team members feel hostile and reluctant to trust each other. So let go: when you are out of office, don’t check your phone continuously; when you are on vacation, turn your phone off completely.
And while you are in the office, promote collaborative decision making – as the only true way to make fewer mistakes. With every mistake, there is a lesson to be learned, and as a leader, you need to be the biggest cheerleader for continuous learning and complete trust and confidence.
Aside from mistakes and faults in their judgment, you also need to accept them. Your job as a leader is not to change them – rather, to enhance them. Just like a good teacher, you need to identify what everyone’s strength is and then use it to the organization’s advantage.
This is where empathy also plays a big role. You need to evaluate who has potential for what and what they genuinely want to be doing. The easiest way to discover a person’s inner power is to talk to them. Find out their hopes and dreams, and be transparent.
Demonstrating acceptance will have a profound impact on how the teammates treat each other too. Understanding that differences are a good thing will lead to stronger bonds and an abundance of creative ideas.
Creative leadership will build a strong team for the future.
There’s no doubt that creative leadership should be embraced as a very powerful leadership strategy. Your team is your biggest treasure, as they have the potential to make all your organizational goals possible. They are your secret weapon, and what you need to do is enable them to do their best.
As competition is everywhere and speed is key, it’s getting more and more difficult to keep a competitive advantage. But with the help of creative leadership, no goal is going to be impossible.