Some of the most challenging leadership moments I have known required a keen imagination. I like how Mark Twain couched it.
Sometimes we cannot see the possibilities around us when our imagination has been clouded or turned off. Leadership depends upon clear thought.
As leaders, we get thrust into the daily battles around us. OK, maybe battle is too strong a word. There are challenges. Cold, calculated thought might win the day or solve the problem occasionally. However, real, creative problem solving requires imagination.
Imagination can use all of the known variables, jumble them around and reassemble the pieces into a new picture. But sometimes our business problems require more than just using the known factors at hand. Creativity is required.
It is not uncommon that a real leader digs deeper into the matter and comes up with a unique, never before thought about a way to do something.
Solutions might include:
- Getting the usual people to do something different, outside their comfort zone
- Getting more data from a source never used before
- Comparing ideas between factions who never agree
- Asking for help
The last one is one of my favorites. Real leaders are not ashamed to admit when they need help. Surrounding yourself with trusted advisers is always a good idea. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto. And Katniss Everdeen had Haymitch. You can fill in the blanks.
Question: How do you respond to a challenge?