Do you value creativity in your leadership?
In 2010, IBM surveyed 1,500 corporate heads and public sector leaders on what drives them in managing their companies in today’s world. They found that creativity was ranked the most important leadership quality for success in business … Creative leaders have the ability to look at things in new ways and solve problems by seeing things others don’t.”– Lysa Miller, “The Importance of Creative Leadership“
-Lysa Miller, “The Importance of Creative Leadership”
I’ve always thought that creativity was a skill to be admired, but I’ve not understood or appreciated how essential creativity is to being an effective leader. Throughout the Bible and especially by looking at Jesus’ personal example, we can see how creative God is – which should encourage us to be as well in our leadership:
That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.Romans 4:17 NLT
I believe we are all leaders at some level – whether it’s on our jobs, with our families, or in a group we lead. And each of us will be faced with obstacles at some point in our leadership. This is where developing creative leadership becomes indispensable.
God is creative, and he can help each of us become creative leaders too.
Creative leaders are compassionate, not critical
“ Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.  This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”Hebrews 10:24-25 TPT
The Bible calls each of us to discover creative ways to encourage and motivate each other. Encouraging and motivating other people takes creativity, because people are different – what motivates one person might not motivate someone else.
When I’m faced with a difficulty in inspiring or motivating someone, I tend to blame that person. I become fixated on their problems and begin to feel that these people are a burden. In short, I get critical instead of creative.
The Bible gives us a solution for our criticalness in Galatians 6:
“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”Galatians 6:1-4 MSG
One of the solutions for criticalness is compassion. How would you want to be treated if you were down and out? The Bible calls us to remember not to be too impressed with ourselves and to remember that we might need some help ourselves before the day is out.
Leadership is not easy. But often times, we want easy. Easy success, an easy dating relationship, easy kids, and an easy group to lead. When we face difficulty in leading it’s “easy” to become proud and blame those we lead for why it’s difficult. We can become critical of people’s weaknesses, sins, and challenges.
Pride and criticalness from comparing ourselves with others won’t lead us to “doing our creative best.” Criticalness stifles creativity. It stops us from stooping down, reaching out, and sharing other’s burdens.
- Do these words describe your approach to leadership: “stoop down… reach out … share their burdens …” ?
- Do you find yourself more compassionate or critical of those you lead?
- Are you aware and involved in the daily lives and burdens of those you lead? Do you know how their school, jobs, marriage, and dating relationships are going?
- How often do you invest time into building relationships with those you lead?
Creative leaders keep believing
“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.  Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping-believing…  And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead-and so was Sarah’s womb.  Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.” Romans 4:17:20 NLT
We need to remember that we believe and worship a God who can create new things out of nothing. Regardless of the state or condition of the group we lead, God can bring life to anyone and everyone. God can bring dead groups back to life – he can breathe faith, love, hope and purpose back into your group!
Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping and believing.
Have you stopped hoping and believing that God can do something great with your group?
“Several days later, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and the news quickly spread that he was back in town.  Soon there were so many people crowded inside the house to hear him that there was no more room, even outside the door. While Jesus was preaching the word of God,  four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man.  But when they realized that they couldn’t even get near him because of the crowd, they went up on top of the house and tore away the roof above Jesus’ head. And when they had broken through, they lowered the paralyzed man on a stretcher right down in front of him!  When Jesus saw the extent of their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are now forgiven.” Mark 2:1-5 TPT
When we have faith and we are met with a challenge, creativity helps us to break through barriers. The faith and friendship of five friends led to an incredibly creative example of teamwork and ingenuity. This led to the transformation and change of a friend’s life.
How much faith do you have in God’s ability to change your friends’ lives? Is your faith making you creative in your efforts to help you friends get closer to God?
Creative leaders recognize the strengths of others
“For in the same way that one body has so many different parts, each with different functions; 5 we, too—the many—are different parts that form one body in the Anointed One. Each one of us is joined with one another, and we become together what we could not be alone.” Romans 12:4-5 VCE
The definition of pride is “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority.” Leading from a position of pride means we put ourselves at the center of everything. We think we are supposed to have all the answers, solutions, and ideas. We think we are supposed to meet every need.
Humility sees the genuine need for everyone and includes everyone. Humility recognizes the strengths in others and leans on them.
When we lead from a position of humility and see the need for other people to help contribute, we bring out the creative best in everyone. As a result the collective group effort and impact is inspiring.
Do you recognize the strengths and talents in all the people that you lead? Do you see and express need to those in your group? Does everyone in your group feel valued and make a contribution as a result?
Creative leadership starts at home
“My theme song is God’s love and justice, and I’m singing it right to you, GOD. I’m finding my way down the road of right living, but how long before you show up? I’m doing the very best I can, and I’m doing it at home, where it counts.” Psalm 101:1 MSG
Hopefully we’ve learned through the scriptures in this Bible study that creative leadership comes from cultivating compassion, faith, and humility in our spiritual lives.
In the above scripture David understood that it mattered what he did at home. He knew he needed to practice spiritual leadership at home.
Our leadership dynamic in the home is the same leadership dynamic we have in every other facet outside the home. As we learn from the wisdom of David, we must first make efforts to become creative leaders in our homes with our spouses, siblings, kids. As we make changes to our leadership there, we will see changes in our leadership extending beyond the home.