A “Creative” in a leadership role? Ha!

I  often wondered why creative types got praised and lauded for their creativity and ingenuity, but were not taken seriously when it came to matters of leadership and strategic decision making. It was always the “creatives” against the “suits”, a prevailing contempt that simmered and brewed every waking day of ad agency life. Some “suits” (not all)  treated writers and artists like workers in a factory, disrespecting the creative process but wanting what it produced – ASAP! There were many creatives who not only exuded stratospheric talent but strong  business acumen. Their ability to think out of the box, contributed to it.  But this  fact was not recognized or taken seriously by some noncreative decision makers who somehow felt comfortable with promoting conformity and status quo.

Now there is a study out that substantiates what I always felt in my gut. This article by Matthew Knight for CNN, sums it up quite nicely.  I’d like to know what you think about it. Click here:  Does being creative help you climb to the top?

3 comments

  1. Stephen Reginald

    Having been the editorial director at a publishing company, I’m aware of the tensions. At one company, even though I produced many successful and innovative products and programs, I rarely got any credit.

    At another company, the president praised me for being the most fiscally responsible editor in chief, due to the fact that I was able to cut production costs and bring products into the warehouse on time without sacrificing quality. The marketing department was very cooperative and encouraging.

    The last “big” publisher I worked for, the creative team (product development) was looked upon as drones. You could never be good enough. Marketing and sales were given much more respect than the staff that actually produced the product for sale. It was tough being creative and innovative in such an environment; I hated it!

    It’s a mixed bag. I suspect that at larger companies, the respect for creativity and innovation isn’t given it’s due, but my first example was at a small company, so again, I think it’s a mixed bag.

  2. Danie Kizaire

    I have constantly been praised for thinking outside the box and then passed over for promotion or had my ideas instituted and then lost my job. It’s nice to know this isn’t personal. It’s just that common sense is rare and too many people are stuck on stupid!

    I really am not surprised by this article. We human beings, have a herd but hierarchal mentality. The herd is not necessarily forward thinking. So it follows we often elect leaders personifying our own backwards and status quo tendencies. I think we call that “bureaucratic” .

    Without creativity we would all be back in the stone ages eating raw meat because who’d a thunk of fire; or at a minimum thought of throwing the hunk of flesh into an existing fire? Maybe it is time to rethink our method of choosing who leads, be it in the corporate environment or elsewhere.

  3. Teri

    I suspect some people think no one can have it all. Brainy and analytical AS WELL AS creative….nah. not possible. They can’t think outside THAT square.

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