photo by Mykl Roventine
How NOT to lead, love, parent or manage US creative types….
You do not lead, love, parent or manage creative souls like you do non-creative types. I’m a creative type. I’ve been led, managed, loved and parented to color inside the lines and get in the box I was provided. I’ve never found a line I thought was adequate to limit my ideas and as far as I’m concerned the only good thing about a box is that it can be flattened out and made into a stage from which to celebrate life…
Love languages. You’ve heard of them. I remember when I first read the book, 5 love languages and I realized that I’d been trying to parent my daughter in my OWN love language. You see, I’m entirely auditory digital ( a a little NLP for you) I process life through words. So I like it when people use words to communicate their feelings with me. And of course for most of my life I thought everyone else was just like me and that’s why for most of my life I drowned all you with my words….
I was always talking, praising and encouraging my daughter and wondering why she didn’t FEEL the love. WELL duh, it wasn’t her natural love language; she’s much more about quality time; showing up and gifts or acts of service. And here I am; Henny Penny, running helter skelter sprinkling her with words- it didn’t work. It didn’t work at all.
I use this example because as humans we have this tendency to think,” IF IT WORKS FOR ME, IT WILL WORK FOR THEM.”
Give creative types boundaries as in goals, expectations and success markers if you are managing or leading them and then get the Heck out of the way.
Don’t timeline, project manage them to death. They dance to a distant drummer and if you over linearize them you will kill the creative muse within them. YES; creative types get snuffed out by managers and leaders all the time, doing what I did to my daughter.
Absolutely, creative types can be responsible, but how they ‘get their stuff done’ is none of your business. Just that they do….
Leaders empower and managers – well they are absolutely unnecessary. Make everyone a leader and let the manager title die.
Loving and parenting a creative type means falling into the rabbit hole. Curiosity does not kill. It actually energizes.
You of all people ,the creative souls parent or loved one must honor and steward this special spirit brought to earth for the sole purpose of creating, here to help everyone break out of the prisons of their own making…do not turn life into a prison for the creative soul and do not box them in or demand they color inside the lines.
Creative types are sensitive, it is as if they were born with less than enough skin for their bodies and sadly the part that is unprotected is their heart; so be gentle.
Ever since these creative spirits popped out of that warm womb they’ve been slightly at odds with the world. Nothing about them resonates with traditional, tried and true or normal. Their eyes don’t quite focus the way most do, their hearts and souls beat irregularly. Steward them as the gold they are…
Love them deeply, genuinely and encourage them to seek out the music playing inside and to take the risks to adventure well off the paths most choose. They are here to inspire us…
And whatever you do.
Don’t put a creative type in a box, make her a project manager or tell her it can’t be done.
Because the next time you come around- she’s sure to have flattened out that box, taken off that uniform you put her in and colored outside those lines you demanded she stay within.
Creative types. I love you.