Our 7 Deadly Skills series continues! This time we’re covering creativity: diving into what it is, why it’s made our top seven and what you can do to unlock your creative leadership potential.

Never has creative leadership been more important in our eyes. The ability to innovate may well be the difference between a successful business and one that has to close its doors for good.

Keep reading to discover more about the what, the why and the how!

What is Creative Leadership?

You might hear ‘creative leadership’ and think it’s all about cool presentations, bright colours and artistic licence. That’s not quite what we’re getting at in this context.

Creative leadership is all about tackling challenges as opportunities. It’s ingrained in problem-solving, reception to new ideas and innovation. A leader with creative skills is able to overcome obstacles because they’re willing to embrace new strategies and solutions with an open mind – giving them the opportunity to clear hurdles that might see their competitors stumbling.

With this in mind, it’s not enough for business leaders to embrace a creative mindset. It has to trickle down to every member of your team, regardless of their position.

A creative work environment is a perfect incubator for business success. When your workplace exudes an aura of collaboration, responsibility and autonomy, you’ll quickly start to reap the rewards.

Let’s take a look at the key benefits that creative leadership brings with it:

The Benefits of Creative Leadership

It’s a proven concept: businesses that encourage creative leadership outperform their competitors. By that, we mean financial aspects, customer satisfaction levels and employee retention rates.

If we’re honest, all the benefits of creative leadership would end up being a list longer than anyone would want to read. But, we know your time is precious, so here are our top four:

Problem Solving

A creative mindset can unlock new and innovative ways to tackle problems. If you’re stuck in an ‘it’s always worked, so why change it’ rut, what’s your plan if something huge and unexpected comes to stop you in your tracks?

The last few years have proven more than ever that change and innovation aren’t just inevitable, they’re a necessity.

A team that’s equipped and encouraged to approach problems large or small creatively are going to solve them more efficiently and autonomously.

Change Management

We’ve covered change above, your business must be set up to adapt to change flexibly and seamlessly.

A business that’s already embracing change as a part of its day-to-day is going to experience less upheaval and disruption when larger, institutionalised changes come to be.

Whilst creative leadership aids with change management, it’s not all you need to navigate it successfully! Have a read of our full guide on the topic here.

Positive Workplace Culture

A business that embraces creativity inspires its employees to bring to light new perspectives and collaborate with each other engagingly.

A team that feels listened to and supported is going to be a happy one. If your employees feel like they can contribute positively and make a real difference to the business, they’re going to feel trusted and like an integral part of the company.

That leads to a better environment, the attraction of quality talent when you’re recruiting and a lower staff turnover. Basically, you’ll hire better people who enjoy working for you and want to stick around.

Financial Growth

The impact of creative leadership is tangible, and that includes on a monetary level. If you find yourself surrounded by ‘yes men’, you’re restricting yourself to tunnel vision and might be missing out on a world of potential.

On the contrary, a business that’s supported by a team that can think outside the box is more likely to identify new ways to boost revenues and is going to grow at speed.

If you and the people around you are actively practising creative thinking, you’ll be surprised at the different opportunities you’ll identify and delve into.

How to Become a Creative Leader

Knowing the positive impact of creative leadership is one thing, putting it into practice is another.

Some of us aren’t natural-born creative thinkers, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be taught. Even for those of us who are more that way inclined, there are things that can be put into practice to elevate your skillset even further.

1. Stay Educated

Keeping up to date with current trends and movements in your market is a sure-fire way to ensure you won’t fall behind your competition.

Subscribing to relevant media and undertaking training courses regularly are great ways to get started with this.

You should also encourage your team to seek out and request any courses or training they feel would be relevant to their personal career progression. The benefits of this are two-fold. If the people around you feel that you as a business are invested in helping them to develop and grow they’re going to feel valued and are likely to stay within the business. Plus, you’ll benefit from an upskilled team with more motivation to perform well.

 2. Get Networking

Attending industry-relevant events is a great way to ensure you’re embracing creative leadership. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who work within a similar space gives you the opportunity to learn from others’ successes and failures.

3. Get Your Team Involved

Trying to do everything yourself is a sure-fire way to put a halt to your creativity. Regardless of whether you’re the most creative person on the planet, relying solely on yourself will always limit you to just one point of view.

Delegating to your team and opening things up to a new perspective will bring about fresh ideas and a new point of view from the people who also have your business’s best interests at heart.

4. Make Time for Creativity

Like anything that’s important, the key to keeping the creative juices flowing is to make sure you allocate time for it specifically. Whether that’s creating a suggestion box and regularly reviewing submissions, or hosting a regular team brainstorming session – there are plenty of ways to ensure both you and your team aren’t losing their creative spark during busy periods of business as usual.


There you have it, our quick guide to creativity and the important role it plays in leadership.

Some of us get stuck in the mindset of left-brained and right-brained thinking, and falsely feel that if we’re not a natural-born creative then that’s just the way it is.

Well, we’re on hand to guide you through unlocking your full creative potential! Our services are completely tailored to what you and your team need, meaning whether it’s creativity, empathy or any of the other seven of our Deadly Skills we’re here to help you develop.

Ready to find out more? Send an email to: info@zest-learning.com.

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