Thursday, September 9, 2010

Creativity and Principles of Indirect Leadership

Leadership takes two primary forms. These types are largely based upon the division between the logical mind and creative mind, or the ‘thread mind’ and the “sphere mind”. One personality has a bias for one form of leadership, the other has preference for the opposite type.

In life, we will find that often we have to combine the two types per situation or problem. 
Leadership of the logical mind is well known in its methods. These might include command, discipline, hierarchy, formal education methods, logical thought methods and so on. When we think of leadership we usually associate that with this set of techniques.

There is however another sphere of leadership that we must consider, that we must admit into our toolbox of methods and skills. There are many circumstances where we will find that a combination of approaches is the best.

We may categorize the two forms of leadership as “direct leadership” and “indirect leadership”, as the attitude of the logical or thread mind vs. the behavior of the creative or sphere mind.

Sphere-mind Leadership
The sphere mind naturally does not want to lead; it would rather not be part of any organization all. If it does lead, it is through its creations, through its works and example, for ordering or instructing is not in the sphere mind’s nature. The sphere mind does not believe in control, the very process of creativity is against control; it is rebellious, random, illogical and eclectic. Further, to control others is to limit your own creativity and happiness.

The sphere mind does not share the conventional “ego” which wants to give direct and detailed instructions to followers. The ego of the creative realm sees others as equals, as colleagues or comrades, and not as minions. More, the creative ego is focused on its own projects and not those of others. This ego is concerned with its own creations and not those of others, and has no desire to substitute itself for others.

Though the sphere mind hates to lead in the social sphere, it can be very effective in its own way. Sphere-minded leaders are the ones who create “paradigms”, sciences, religion, and philosophy. Sphere-minded leaders think in terms of singularities, simple brief concepts, which are easily taught and disseminated to millions of ordinary people. Further, these concepts are couched in poetic phrases and artistic form that make them more appealing. The sphere mind creates an entertaining theatre which facilitates influence. The sphere mind is playful and humorous, and this appeals to ordinary people who are more in touch with their sphere-mind behavior than elites or professionals.

Sphere-minded leaders openly accept exception, particularity and uniqueness, thus binding themselves more to a populace driven down by uniformity. The sphere-minded leader unleashes a storm of creativity, initiative and individuality. Further, the sphere mind is inventive, providing surprising twists and turns, providing a show that is captivating and compelling to watch.

The thread mind leads in a well known way on its well-worn path. It has no problem with hierarchy, it uses models and rules. It leads with detailed plans and programs. The thread mind codifies the new rules, teaches them and spreads them. The thread mind produces a workable social organization, with tasks and responsibilities. The thread mind recognizes people are not equal in regards to certain features and tries to find a place for everyone, thus, raising the general level of happiness.

The thread mind sets up organizations of thread minded scientists and intellectual types to handle the infinity of intellectual details, and to systematize the vague and gapped theories of the sphere mind.

The sphere mind we could say operates through “indirect leadership”, while the thread mind does so through “direct leadership”. The art is to know and utilize both forms of leadership.

Indirect Leadership
Creative people do not lead, that is, they do not lead directly. They lead with their creations, they do not “tell” people what to do or force them to do anything. The method of leadership is indirect.  
Indirect leadership is used in many spheres: in art, entertainment, social creativity, politics, economics, international relations and more. Indirect leaders facilitate, support and advise. They stress personal example. They focus on personal work and its joy. The indirect leader pushes for self learning experiences. The indirect leader seeks federal style relationships, voluntary behavior, the use of rituals and festivals and so on.  
The indirect leadership “Do Nots” might be:
Do not Detail
Do not Solve
Do not Command
Do not Overwhelm
Do not Intervene
Do not Summarize
Do not Address or Point out
Do not Criticize
Do not use Direct messages
Do not Coerce
And more...

Promoting Individuality
The essential idea is to let the individual solve problems for herself or himself, to assist them in self realization but not to provide the realization itself. Indirect leadership seeks the self growth and empowerment of the citizen and not an elite. Thus, indirect leadership promotes direct democracy, competition, individuality, multiple perception, and to some extent chaos -- because it signifies freedom and productivity (while direct leadership is terrified by disorder).

Promoting Creativity
A second goal of indirect leadership would be the increase of creativity. Leaders can only contribute a certain small degree of creativity no matter how brilliant they might be. A society run by a handful of creative minds is no match for a society that is run by millions of creative minds. The differences in output are enormous. The indirect leader sets the goal of developing and enhancing the creativity of individuals, in this way she or he ensures that many new creative solutions are available to choose from and many problems can be solved at once. The indirect leader is of course a strong believer in democracy, democracy puts the emphasis on the citizen, and supports the maximum output of each individual. 
There are conditions and problems that require direct leadership to be sure. At the same time there are circumstances that demand indirect leadership. The knowledgeable leader will know both techniques, and when they apply and when they do not as events change.

(See article on “About Social Creativity” on Axxiad News site)

Cage Innoye
Axxiad News

See new free Ebook by Cage Innoye, Social Creativity and Revolution.

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