There is this myth in church world. Or “the Real World” for that matter.
That if you have an “artists” flare, or a large chunk of your DNA is creative in nature, you have this “LID” that you will automatically hit in your leadership capacity.
I have spent the majority of my ministerial career with my hands over my head waiting to hit this “lid”.
I have not hit it yet.
Because it is a myth. It is not true. It is a irrefutably unlawful leadership lie. 😉
Although, I can see how administrator types can see us as frightening objects in the culture that is administration.
This lid can be avoided.
Let’s see how dictionary.com defines administration.
the management of any office, business, or organization; direction.
In a large sense, that describes a HUGE chunk of what I do.
How does a musician/artist/emotionalist handle leadership?
Tools and Form.
Here are what I think a person like me needs to have in place around them in order to never hit that imaginary “lid”.
1. Knowing Your Strengths AND Weaknesses
A great profiling system such as the Right Path profile system.
Click on that link and see the most uncreative, non artistic website you have ever seen. But those are the kinds of people who need to “analyze us”. I swear after I took the Path 4 and Path 6 test, I thought someone had been following me taking notes for the last decade. I read my profile weekly. It tells me how I can be the most successful in a high capacity work environment. Here is what this “test” figured out about me…
My STRENGTHS are that I am passionate, highly interactive, and I love to achieve, influence, and relate to others, especially with large groups. I thrive on variety, changes, new challenges, and opportunities to convince others of viewpoints. I point to the future with great optimism.
My STRUGGLES are that when I push my strengths to the extreme I may exaggerate, become emotional, and overlook key details. I may become controlling, impatient, or impulsive.
Needless to say that narrows me down to a T. I have 20 pages of graphs and notes explaining my head better than I ever could. I find this resource invaluable as a creative leader.
2. The Right Team.
This is invaluable. This means surrounding yourself with a team that does not look like you. I need some balance in my work life and creative decision making. So this is key. I have 13 people in my department that balance my strengths and weaknesses. As a creative and emotional leader I need some people who are not emotional and have pretty handwriting. If your team looks just like you, you have a major problem. And remember the last 3 words of the first sentence defining my struggles? That is what Katie is for. She is the most important factor in my leadership capacity. Having someone working with you to overcome your weaknesses is mandatory. And this does not need to be a full time or part time staff position. At Sandals this was fulfilled in a volunteer capacity by different people throughout my 9 years.
3. A Great Boss.
Quickly remove the BS meters from your domes for a second and follow me. You have to have a boss that allows you to form the structure of how you work to you. You have to have a boss that will spend quality time with you. You have to have a boss that trusts you. And you only get one chance at this trust thing. So don’t screw it up. Trust me. If you don’t have a good boss. Wear your hard hat. Because you will hit that lid multiple times a day.
4. The Right Organizational System
I honestly feel that the GTD system was made for creative artists. I wrote a post over a year ago as to how this single handily changed my capacity to lead. Go read that post. Then go here, here, here, and here.
Structure is essential as a creative leader leading creative people. The second you begin to lose structure, you lose credibility. And credibility is 90 percent of the conversation.
5. A Life Coach Group
What the heck is that? Simply? It is like a board of directors for the organization that is you. You are the point of this team. It is completely selfish.
What it is not… It is not an accountability group. It is not a bible study. It is not a beer and pipes on the back porch gathering.
What it is… It is a group of persons who gather together on a semi regular basis to pray for you, fast for you, guide you, and shape you as you attempt with every vein of your existence to live a life worth His calling.
Honestly I am still forming this group. I believe it should be multi generational. I believe it should not be more than 5 or less than 3. You should trust these people with your life and the lives of your wife and children. I am fortunate enough to have many people who fit this category in my life. I have 3 of my 5 in place. I’ll let you know when I finish the group. When I do, I am going to pay for them to travel to one location for 2 days of kicking my rear.
So there you have it. In my opinion, these are the key pieces to a creative artist’s unhindered leadership development.
In my experience the lid will never hit your lazy, unorganized, ADD head if you try and put these into place.