No matter where you work, creative leaders are called upon to inspire success in others. Discover six of the most inspirational leadership styles and then ask yourself: Which one am I?
In the workplace, we expect leaders to be ethical, influential and diligent. They must excel in their specific roles while also bringing out the best in others, ensuring their creative teams have the resources and support to succeed. We call this managing. However, exceptional creative leaders do more than simply manage. They challenge, mentor and inspire, making others want to do better and be better.
How does your management style stack up?
Creative leaders aren't one size fits all. That's part of the beauty of the following inspirational leadership styles – they prove that there's something about most management approaches that can inspire greatness in others. And isn't that the definition of leadership?
6 inspirational leadership styles
1. The Pillar. Motto: Discipline – not just hard work – pays off.
The Pillar is strong and steadfast, leading by example rather than force. He may be one of the brightest people in the room, but that's not what makes him stand out. He is also the most disciplined, understanding that even creativity requires structure, like templates, schedules and spreadsheets. In short, The Pillar is an unflappable creative leader who inspires through dedication.
2. The Empowerer. Motto: I trust you.
If you've ever worked for a manager whose motto was "I don't trust you," you can imagine the value The Empowerer adds to a creative department. This is one of the most empathetic leadership styles, one that strives to delegate tasks based on individuals' strengths, trusting that they're the best creative professional for the job. The Empowerer inspires by trusting others' expertise and encouraging self-sufficiency.
3. The Logician. Motto: Do what makes sense.
The Logician is an intellectual with a knack for solving tough problems. This creative leader comes to the table with solutions, often making the decisions that keep teams efficient and exceptional. This leadership style is both thorough and thoughtful, clearly seeing the shortest distance between two points. She leads with integrity, inspiring others to take an honest look at themselves and their work.
4. The Visionary. Motto: Nothing is impossible.
The Visionary likely brings to mind leaders like Steve Jobs and Henry Ford. Both were unrelenting and courageous. Both led by intuition and a desire to surpass the accepted standard. Like them, The Visionary sees what others don't. He is a leader driven by possibilities. An undeniably influential leader, The Visionary inspires by showing others never to settle.
5. The Impassioned. Motto: I would do this for free.
There is no mistaking The Impassioned. This creative leader is fervently dedicated to her work and her creative side projects. She self-identifies as an artist or a writer, for example, not a marketer or advertiser. Her work, she believes, comes with no price tag; she'd be happy doing it for free. The Impassioned is persuasive by default, inspiring others by her enthusiasm.
6. The Perfectionist. Motto: The best or nothing.
The Perfectionist is an uncompromising leader. Sometimes perceived as rigid or unrelenting, this leadership style does sweat the small stuff – and it pays off. He won't settle for good enough or even great. His work is exceptional because he has thought of everything. The Perfectionist is an idealist who inspires others to never submit (or defend) subpar work.
Which inspirational leader are you?
Creative leaders need more than just strong management skills to build the best teams and lead them to success; they have to understand the nuances of creativity and what inspires creative people. Share which leadership styles you prefer or which creative leader sounds most like you.
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