Leaders are perceived as people with exceptional abilities which are impossible to be gained. Some even may use this notion to explain the limited number of leaders in the world. However, a number of researchers and writers (Adler, 2009; Davis, 1983; Harding, 2009) debunk this theory stating that all the qualities required for becoming a great leader are inherent in each of us. Our job is only to “wake-up” and evolve these qualities to a master level.
Paramount quality which serves as a “moving engine” for leadership is creativity. Harding (2010) postulates that creativity is “that force in each of us that begins with a yearning to answer an unanswered (or ill-answered) question by imagining more than one answer” (p. 51). He implies that change and creativity are interlinked and are the products of imagination. Thus, in order to answer that question people need to train their minds to think creatively. How? Interestingly, there is even a book with exercises for enhancing the power of one’s imagination called Creativity is Forever by Gary Davis. Namely, he teaches how to acquire certain habits to “look at, listen to, and contemplate all sorts all stimuli through a new sensory lens, imagining new ways to observe and observing new ways to imagine” (Harding, 2010, p.52). Hence, developing creative thinking is a laborious process outcomes of which may transform one’s mind cardinally.
Teaching to think creatively is not more important than giving space to implement these creative thoughts. Students have to be confident about the possibility to nurture their creative thoughts into ideas. Transforming thought into ideas consequently leads to creative action. In order to realize their ideas students could be provided specific tasks —learn the ways of communication with others or reveling their creative ideas to others using means technology (Harding, 2010). Another method would be creating special courses for creative thinking and acting which do not follow conventional teaching method.
All in all, creative thinking and acting are part and parcel of leadership the vitality of which is undermined today. Developing the former ones can make the latter more effective. However, these skills should be carefully cultivated and tested in practice.
Do you believe there is a place for creative thinking and acting in our education? How could we possibly integrate it into our education?
Adler, H. (2009, September). Attributes of great leaders. Leadership Excellence, 26(9), p.18.
Davis, G. (1983). Creativity is Forever. Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt.
Harding, T. (2010). Fostering creativity for leadership and leading change. Arts Education Policy
Review, 111(2), p. 51-53.