I came across an interesting article a while back on a site called The Quiet Revolution: Advice and stories for introverts and extroverts alike on how to appreciate our quiet sides. The article was called Why Creative People are Rarely Seen as Leaders. Even the title was maharahara or thought-provoking (I’m learning some great vocab at Māori class).

Spoiler alert:
“Out-of-the-box thinkers tend not to do the things that traditional leaders do: set goals, maintain the status quo, exude certainty.”

“Studies suggest that innovation often requires solitude and that the majority of spectacularly creative people across a range of fields are introverts, or at least comfortable with spending large chunks of time alone. People who like to spend time alone are decidedly at odds with today’s team-based organizational culture.”

The article talked about companies exploiting employees’ natural strengths – very interesting in particular for our workplace having just done the Gallup Strengths Finder in our team.

“William McKnight, 3M’s president and chairman during the 1930s and 1940s believed in a simple, and at the time, subversive, credo: ‘Hire good people, and leave them alone.’ McKnight put this into practice by allowing 3M’s technical staff to spend up to 15 percent of their time on projects of their choosing. And it paid off—one scientist dreamed up Post-it notes during his free time.”

Another interesting idea to come out of the article was that of leadership-sharing: “where two people divide leadership tasks according to their natural strengths and talents. This is done at Facebook by introverted “product visionary” Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and the extroverted“people person” COO Sheryle Sandberg.”

Read on for more information: http://www.quietrev.com/why-creative-people-are-rarely-seen-as-leaders/

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