Those around you are not dumb. They know when you are playing full-out in an authentic way, and they know when you’re holding something back, calculating your moves, and manipulating the situation. Thus caution Michael T. Kanazawa and Robert H. Miles in Big Ideas to Big Results: Remake and recharge your company, fast (

“You can sense the authenticity of your moves from observing the passion and commitment of all of the people around you,” the authors add. “Say what’s in your heart, keep it simple, act in a way that is true to who you are, and you’ll show up as a ‘real’ leader.” Because, ‘getting real’ lies at the root of ‘the ability to serve as a transformational leader.’

Another key message in the book is that the leader doesn’t have to have all the answers. People, instead, want their “leaders to have a sense of vision, direction, boundary conditions, and measures of success, but they don’t want to be told exactly what to do.”

Creativity management

Leaders can considerably enhance or inhibit creativity within the working environment, write Constantine Andriopoulos and Patrick Dawson in Managing Change, Creativity & Innovation (

Leaders “can either provide an ‘open forum’ in which members feel free to roam with new ideas and suggestions, or, conversely, they can provide a tightly constructed set of rules and guidelines in which members have little latitude to express fresh thoughts.”

Supervisory encouragement, stimulating work, and autonomy can also indirectly influence creativity.

Citing research, the authors speak of the need for the persuasive skills of a leader to mobilise creative efforts, especially because creative people are not easily persuaded and tend to act autonomously during much of their working lives. Also important is communication, to facilitate cross-fertilisation of ideas.

D. Murali

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 23, 2009)
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