What sets great leaders apart from others is their ability to inspire and lead others. They can simply get things done and overcome challenges.  Yet the most inspiring leaders understand and implement the power of creativity to achieve memorable change.

While there are many steps in making change and achieving seemingly impossible outcomes, these leaders understand the fundamental principles of how to manifest the change and results they want.   Here I set out a series of principles which set the scene for the power of creativity.  These principles can be used in the most fundamental of world changes while applying equally as powerfully in day-to-day leadership challenges in the workplace.

Bold Ideas Which Changed The World

Throughout history, there have been numerous visionary leaders and thinkers whose bold ideas and relentless pursuit of their visions have significantly changed the world through the power of creativity.  Here are five notable examples:

1. The Wright Brothers’ First Flight

Orville and Wilbur Wright, known as the Wright Brothers, had a groundbreaking vision: to create a powered, controlled, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. Despite scepticism and numerous failures, they persisted in their quest. In 1903, they achieved the first successful flight of a powered aircraft, a feat that fundamentally transformed transportation and laid the groundwork for modern aviation. Their vision of human flight, once deemed impossible, is now an everyday reality.

2. Mahatma Gandhi’s Nonviolent Resistance

Mahatma Gandhi, a leader in the Indian struggle for independence, envisioned a free India attained through nonviolent resistance or Satyagraha. His unique approach to peaceful protest and civil disobedience was revolutionary at the time. Gandhi’s vision and methods led to India’s independence in 1947 and inspired numerous other civil rights movements globally, including the American civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr.

3. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream”

Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of a society where people are judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character was articulated powerfully in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. His vision and leadership during the civil rights movement in the United States led to significant changes in laws and societal attitudes towards racial equality. His dream reshaped American society and continues to inspire the fight for justice and equality worldwide.

4. Steve Jobs and the Revolution of Personal Computing

Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., envisioned a world where personal computing would be accessible and user-friendly. His vision led to the creation of revolutionary products like the Apple II, Macintosh, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. These innovations not only transformed the technology industry but also changed the way people interact with technology, making it an integral part of daily life for billions.

5. Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, had a vision of a globally interconnected information system. This vision gave birth to the World Wide Web, a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessible via the Internet. Berners-Lee’s creation revolutionized information sharing and communication, leading to the digital age as we know it. The Web has transformed every aspect of modern life, including business, education, government, and social interactions.

Each of these examples demonstrates how the power of creativity has been realised.  The vision of these world changers, when pursued with determination and passion, led to extraordinary achievements that reshaped the world. These visionaries not only saw a different future but also had the courage and perseverance to turn their visions into reality, leaving a lasting impact on the world.

Using the Power Of Creativity Personally

I often think that the monumental world changes can seem distant and remote and so the principles which brought about those changes or outcomes aren’t applied to our day-to-day lives.  Therefore we can omit the power of creativity and ignore the principles.   The principles are in force whether we are aware of them or not.  Look around at your life.  The power of creativity is determining the outcomes.

Here are some outcomes I achieved, quite small in the grand scheme of things, but they were achieved through my deliberate adherence to the principles of the power of creativity.

1. Higher Earnings

When I turned 40 I lost nearly everything I had.  I spent 6 months lamenting my misfortune, blaming everyone and everything.  However, this crash was a turning point in my life, because the universe was waking me up.  It woke me up to the life I was passively creating through my unconscious beliefs and conditioned thoughts.  This was one of my biggest gifts because, through the pain of my experience, I began to learn what worked and what didn’t.   One of the first situations I needed to resolve was my finances.

For the first time in my life, I sat down and worked out how much income I needed to be able to live the life I wanted, debt-free, abundant and at peace.   This figure seemed impossible given the circumstances I found myself in.   However, it took just 3 years to achieve this level of earnings and it changed my life.

2. A Trusted IT System

An organisation I worked in lacked effective IT systems to support leaders in tracking and getting the best out of their people.  The data was limited, and inaccurate and when the leaders received reports they were way out of date.   When I became responsible for the oversight of the system, I knew big changes had to be made, but I had no idea how that would happen.

With the complete buy-in from my team, we set out a lofty vision for the quality of the data we wanted.  We didn’t ask “how” when we were setting out the vision, but we were very clear about our purpose and why we wanted to make the changes.  What happened over the next 18 months was almost like magic.  Solutions came at the right price and with the right expertise.  The outcome was a real-time data solution which was not only trusted but was celebrated for the difference it made.

3. A Number One Team

I joined an organisation to lead a regional team.   The team had a poor reputation and was classed as one of the worst performers out of 18 similar teams around the country.   One of the first things the team leaders and myself did was to set out a vision to be the best team in the country.   Many people were sceptical and simply did not believe it could be done without changing the people on the team.  However, it took just 18 months and the changes we made were seen as transformational.

4. Customer Service Qualifications

One of the areas we had to vastly change was the approach to customer service.  What I wanted was not only to vastly improve this area but also to ensure my team provided customer service excellence.  There were several ways we approached this, but one ambition I had was to have my team formally qualified in this area.

The cost was hugely prohibitive, and again scepticism was rife as to whether this ambition would materialise.   However, we harnessed the power of creativity by keeping an open mind and being alive to every possibility.  The outcome was that every person in the team achieved an externally recognised customer service qualification and it cost us a token fee which was around 90% cheaper than most quotes had come in at.

Principles Of The Power Of Creativity

1. The Power Of Intention – Starting With The End In Mind

The principle of starting with the end in mind harnesses the power of intention. This strategy is about being proactive rather than reactive, clearly envisioning your desired outcome from the outset. It involves a vivid imagination of the goal, so real that it feels within reach, setting a clear direction for all subsequent actions. This is not just a hopeful aspiration; it’s a strategic, focused mindset. For leaders, this principle ensures that every decision and action is purposefully aligned with their ultimate objective. By maintaining this focus, they can steer their course effectively, even in the face of distractions or obstacles, ensuring that every effort contributes directly to achieving their goal.

2. Being Outcome Specific

Being outcome-specific extends beyond setting an overall vision; it’s about defining your goal in precise, measurable, and concrete terms. This clarity transforms a broad aspiration into a targeted mission, providing a detailed blueprint for success and a clear way to measure progress. Leaders who adopt this principle articulate their goals with such specificity that there is no room for ambiguity, ensuring that their team remains unified and focused. This approach facilitates the setting of benchmarks and milestones, essential for tracking progress and sustaining momentum. By being explicit about the desired outcome, leaders instil a sense of urgency and purpose, propelling their teams towards a common, well-understood definition of success.

3. Harnessing Imagination – The Art Of Vision

Harnessing imagination is a fundamental principle of the power of creativity. It’s about breaking free from conventional thought patterns and daring to envision a future that stretches beyond the current reality. This principle, often described as the art of vision, is not merely about dreaming big, but about formulating a future that is both inspiring and attainable. Leaders who apply this principle effectively use their imagination to craft a vivid, compelling vision that aligns with their core values and objectives. This process is an active exploration of possibilities, a creative journey that uncovers innovative solutions and novel approaches to complex challenges. It’s about allowing the mind to wander into unexplored territories, unlocking the potential for transformative ideas and breakthroughs.

4. Keeping An Open Mind – Opening Up To Possibilities

Keeping an open mind is crucial in the realm of leadership and creativity. It’s about being receptive to new ideas, different perspectives, and the myriad of possibilities that may not initially align with preconceived notions or plans. This principle involves cultivating a mindset that is flexible, curious, and willing to explore uncharted territories. Leaders who embrace this approach understand that true innovation often comes from unexpected sources and that adaptability is key in an ever-changing environment. By keeping an open mind, leaders can foster a culture of continuous learning and growth, both for themselves and their teams. It encourages a collaborative atmosphere where ideas are freely exchanged, leading to richer, more diverse problem-solving strategies. This openness not only enhances creativity but also prepares leaders to navigate complex situations with agility and resilience, always ready to seize new opportunities and adapt to evolving circumstances.

5. Moving In The Direction Of Your Outcome

Moving in the direction of your outcome involves a constant alignment of your actions with your end goal. It’s a dynamic process of continuously steering your efforts towards your envisioned result. This principle demands both steadfastness and adaptability – staying committed to your objective while being open to modifying your approach as circumstances evolve. The journey to your goal isn’t always straightforward; it often requires navigating through challenges and making strategic adjustments. By consistently aligning your actions with your intended outcome, you ensure that every resource – time, energy, and effort – is optimally employed, moving you progressively closer to achieving your goal.

In summary, these principles of leadership and personal development underscore the significance of a clear, focused vision. They highlight the importance of intention, imagination, alignment of actions with goals, and specificity in outcomes. By applying these principles, leaders can effectively guide their teams towards achieving remarkable results. Thus demonstrating the undeniable power of creativity in leadership.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

I collaborate with leadership experts, managers and HR professionals to help them get their own message and unique services and products to a wide audience.