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How to Build on Your Creative Potential

Tackle your challenges head-on. Your ability to offer fresh and innovative solutions to problems is essential to effective leadership. Like a muscle, your creative abilities will
 grow and strengthen with practice. 
—Tom Kelley, Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All  

2. The truth is the world needs more creative thinking in every area of life.

We need more creative teachers, real estate agents, sales professionals, pastors, insurance executives, and office managers. We need more creative parents and grandparents. We need more creative minds in government, business, science, and the nonprofit world. In short, everyone could stand a creative overhaul—understanding a new way to do things that brings better results.

I purposely look for crackpot and harebrained ideas to see if any of them shows potential. When I talk to a vendor about my application and he says, “Oh, yeah, you use the material like this,” I usually lose interest. There is no use in trying an approach that everyone else knows about. But if a vendor tells me, “Oh, no, nobody does it that way,” I get all excited since I know I’ve hit pay dirt. —Mark Huber, research and development, Walt Disney Imagineering

3. To start building on your creative potential, start asking questions.

Don’t be afraid to try the harebrained ideas. You don’t have to be the obstinate employee on the team or the grumpy friend, but you can start looking at other ways to make things happen.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been doing it so long, I can’t stand to drive the same routes to work, the airport, the grocery store, or a friend’s house. It drives my family crazy, but I want to see what would happen if we took another path.

Little ideas like that can start you on the road to looking at life in different ways.


This article on creative potential is an excerpt from Phil’s book,Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking.”