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Thomas Brucia


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Are creativity and leadership overrated?

Isn't the ability to follow instructions equally important as being creative? The world is dependent on millions who do things over and over again: accountants, repairmen, farmers, and so on. The wages of innovation can often be dismissal or disaster -- whereas the rewards of doing one's job are significant. So too with 'leadership': leaders must always be a tiny minority, because without followers, they are nothing...... Or am I missing something?


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    Nov 22 2011: The term overrated speaks to a measurement of 'more than' which creativity and leadership are niether that prolific nor that valued in my view.

    However I would like to take this sideways for a moment and talk about creativity in leadership. We are not living in a world in which everyone can easily be a follower. We as individuals are already too aware of the implications of authority as an unwanted restriction or control in our lives or circumstances. For many people, I think, this is the root of their revolutionary passion. This is part of the protests going on globally.

    Yet there is an old philosophical argument that put forward - that to exercise true leadership a person must be creative- here I am talking about visionaries who could persuade a multitude to follow through with significant national scales of change and they do this through creatively challenging their own pespectives and seeking something different. I think we are in need of visionaries who can illuminate possibilities of change on the global scale.

    The problem of underestimating creativity and leadership is that it leads to apathy and complacency which often is followed by violent revolt therefore I do not think it is actually possible to overrate creativity or leadership.
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      Nov 22 2011: Would the French Revolution, the subsequent rise to power of Napoleon, his failures and fall, the Bourbon Restoration and then Louis Phillipe's "July Monarchy" be relevant..... I really think they might.
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        Nov 22 2011: Hi Thomas,

        Could you expand a bit on what the relevance is I am unfamiliar with the history (appologies) and I would like to understand your thought.

        I have refered to revolution in my post and I see also that my statement about global visionaries coud become the misconception of a global despotism. However that is why I say a visionary by definition in my view can challenge and question their own perspective. The key of what I am highlighting is that change is and always will be inevitable therefore craetivity and leadership can be the agents of change. Otherwise violence and usurption can be like the sharp movement of a fault line accomodating a movement or a shift that was too long in coming.
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          Nov 23 2011: In France there seemed to be a sequence of periods of apathy and complacency followed by violent revolts. The creative leadership of revolutionary leaders led to many of them being consumed in the fires they lit (e.g. Danton and Robespierre) . Finally the 'leadership' provided by Napoleon united France -- in military adventures such as the catastrophic invasion of Russia in 1812, so well described Tolstoy in 'War and Peace'. It was only after Napoleon's second imprisonment (in Helena) and his poisoning there that France moved on.... until the Revolution of 1848. I suspect the French at this point were sick and tired of 'revolutionary change' and of 'creative leadership' and just wanted to emulate Candide and just garden....
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        Nov 23 2011: So then if apathy as you say actually breeds the violent revolution and the violent revolution breeds creative leadership anyway then there is nothing for this world but conformity, social order and compliance that there is a need for less inovation and more affirmation of the status quo. Some predictability and all together a reserved approach to thinking outside the square. This sounds very utopian and perhaps a little underrated?

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