Home Pastors Pastor How To's 4 Tips for Creative Team Leaders

4 Tips for Creative Team Leaders

Teresa Amabile, the Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, has analyzed nearly 12,000 daily diary entries from employees working on creative projects. She and her colleagues gained some valuable insights about why and how team have enormous impact, positive or negative, on creativity.

When interviewed by Martha Lagace about her findings, Amabile answered, “We found that employees’ perceptions of team leader support were more positive when the leader engaged in four types of effective behavior:

1. Monitoring the work effectively (giving timely feedback and reacting to problems in the work with understanding and help).

2. Providing socio-emotional support (showing support for a team member’s actions or decisions; helping alleviate stressful situations for subordinates; socializing; keeping team members informed about stressful situations; addressing subordinates’ negative feelings; and disclosing personal information).

3. Recognizing good work privately and publicly. 

4. Consulting subordinates about the work (asking for team members’ ideas and opinions; acting on subordinates’ ideas or wishes).”

In addition, they found worker’s perceptions of team leader support became more negative when: (1) The leader failed to monitor the work effectively (micro-managed; exhibited an insufficient understanding of work or the worker’s capabilities; offered unhelpful negative feedback on the work; took up to much of the workers time checking on the work status; lacked real interest in the work done or the worker’s ideas); (2) The leader failed to clearly clarify roles and objectives (giving assignments not suited to that team member; Not furnishing enough clear information about an assignment; Altering assignments or desired outcomes too frequently; Assigning work that conflicted with other management directions; Creating problems or avoiding apparent problem solutions).

One of the most influential means of support a leader can provide to their creative team members that will boost their creativity is to create an environment that will help the worker feel a real sense of autonomy, control, and ownership in their work. This perceived level of trust and responsibility drives them to more deeply engage their thinking on the work or problem and motivates them to explore possible solutions more widely.

(How Team Leaders Support by Martha Lagace, Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 5/31/04)  

adapted by Gary D. Foster
Gary Foster Consulting
Gary D. Foster founded and leads Gary D. Foster Consulting, a marketing and management service specializing in helping religious product companies and ministries discover and optimize new revenue streams and to better leverage existing ones. He served as an executive with Focus on the Family, where he managed their award-winning book publishing operation and $110 million direct-mail fundraising division. He also spent 12 years with the Christian Booksellers Association, where he served as President and CEO of CBA Service Corporation. He also served in executive product development and marketing positions with Cook Communications Ministries, Moody Press and Moody Magazine. Learn more about Gary at GaryDFoster.com.
Previous articleWorship Element: True Love
Next articleWhat is Worship?