How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership

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How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership

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“Creativity is the most important leadership quality” 2010 IBM Global CEO Study

In a poll from Breakthrough Creativity: How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership,

  • 20% responded with “I am a very creative leader.”
  • 55% responded with “I am a somewhat creative leader”
  • 22% responded with “I am not sure if I am a creative leader”
  • 4% responded with “No, I’ve never thought of myself as a creative leader”

Recommended training from HRDQ-U

Breakthrough Creativity: How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership

Creativity and Leadership

So, how do you actually define creativity? There is no ideal model or one best way to be creative, rather, creativity is the ability to consciously produce different and valuable results.

There are many benefits of creativity for leaders. They not only have to do with more inventive decisions, strategies, processes, and solutions but being in touch with your creative talents helps you with your ability to communicate and motivate a variety of different people and a variety of different audiences and situations.

It’s no surprise then that creativity and leadership go hand in hand. Effective, high-performance leaders are often creative, but they are also focused on the work that needs to be done and ensuring it gets done.

Key principles of high-performance leadership include

  • Versatility
  • Strategic and operational
  • Forceful and enabling


Creativity and leadership require a balancing act between perception & judgment as well as action & reflection.

Eight Creative Talents

We all have eight creative talents. We tend to develop a preference for one over the others and that colors what data we see and influences how we lead others. The Eight Creative Talents include

  1. Adventurer: These people are skilled improvisers. They are spontaneous, flexible, curious, and fun-loving. They find skillful ways to get around obstacles and are always ready to act. At the same time, they can get caught up in the moment, ignore the future, and undervalue the process.
  2. Inventor: Inventors are paradigm shifters. They are objective and provide unique ideas that often shift thinking. They take a logical, analytical approach to problems and decisions, and tend to see things as wither/or.
  3. Poet: The thoughtful counselor. Poets are quietly supportive and nurturing, offering a safe place to test out ideas. They are people and value focused, but they can overlook points of view that clash with their held values.
  4. Diplomat: Diplomats are collaborative negotiators. They value working with people to achieve common goals and will ask questions about others’ perspectives. They bring a people-focused innovation approach to their work, and they prefer harmony to conflict.
  5. Pilot: The analytical strategist. Pilots enjoy working with others and leading projects. They provide new and different strategies and they may be uncomfortable with ambiguity.
  6. Visionary: They are insightful futurists. They are private, thoughtful, and counterintuitive. They like to find long-term, breakthrough solutions to problems by asking bold questions. However, visionaries can often overlook relevant facts and details.
  7. Navigator: Navigators are pragmatic adapters. They are careful, thoughtful, and private. They like to fine-tune and build on what others have done. They ask practical questions and wants concrete evidence. Navigators are often uncomfortable with uncertainty and are overly cautious.
  8. Explorer: They are energetic catalysts. Explorers love to brainstorm possibilities and value ingenuity and discovery. They like to ask about concepts and patterns and are future-focused. Explorers are typically better at starting ventures rather than finishing them.


Do you know which talent you are? Do you know if you are a creative leader or how you can become one? Watch Breakthrough Creativity: How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership to find out or to confirm your suspicions!

You can also get started on expanding your creativity with the Breakthrough Creativity Profile. This profile gives you the tools to uncover your creative talents in the workplace.

Headshot of Lynne Levesque
Dr. Lynne Levesque

Dr. Lynne Levesque holds a degree in Russian Studies from Mount Holyoke College, which led her into teaching and then to graduate school at Rutgers University, where she earned a Master’s degree in Modern European History. She also holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. Her love for history and languages was back-burnered by a 17-year successful business career at two very large financial institutions.

After completing her Ed.D. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she let her passion for the topics of creativity and leadership drive her departure from her business banking career toward independent consulting and adjunct teaching positions in local colleges and universities.

As part of that consulting practice, Lynne published Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents (2001) and the Breakthrough Creativity Profile and Facilitator’s Guide (2003, 2012), along with several articles on topics of creativity and leadership. While still consulting, she spent five and a half years as a senior researcher at Harvard Business School, where she co-authored multiple cases and articles on critical leadership challenges.

Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn.

Recommended Training from HRDQ-U
Breakthrough Creativity: How to Use Your Talents for More Creative Leadership

Discover how creative leadership can help your organization achieve greater performance, flexibility, and decision-making with expert Lynne Levesque.

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