Why leaders aren’t more self-aware

Do we favor leaders that are not self-aware?

Write about what?

Kaiser Wilhelm II statue in Koln, Germany Kaiser Wilhelm II An example of a leader low in self awareness.

Perhaps the last century’s swing towards the outgoing, outspoken, in charge leader, who always exuded confidence has created the increasing need for cultivating self-aware leaders.[1]  Before the twentieth century it was often considered egotistical for leaders to promote themselves. When the newly formed Continental Congress nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, he was not one of the most experienced candidates. He did not campaign to become the head general of the new, inexperienced and poorly equipped army, but he relied on others to recognize his potential in this position. For many leaders in today’s world, depending on the judgment of  peers has become a thing of the past.

This tendency for leaders to not regard others opinions of them shows up prominently in Research by the Hay Group. Their study compared individuals’ concept of themselves against…

View original post 381 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Self awareness and leadership

Are leaders unaware of what is going on inside of them?

Write about what?

washington DSCN4525According to the original meaning of self-awareness over 99.9 % of humanity qualify for this trait because people are aware of their existence. So, this is not enough to be considered special. However, self-awareness has a new meaning along with a new claim that it distinguishes leaders from others, according to Daniel Goleman. [1]  

Self awareness starts with the idea of recognizing and regulating emotions. But, how frequently have we seen leader spewing angry words (or tweets) only to later regret their words? They express emotions powerfully, but have little ability to regulate them. Frequently they fail to understanding the impact of their own internal motivation on themselves.  

How important is control over your own emotions? If you feel vexed due to a person who chatters constantly with minimal output, you may decide to be self-aware and not speak your mind because they might be hurt by…

View original post 321 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning not to be self-aware

Do grammatical errors set your teeth on edge?

Write about what?

snobRecently I was reading research about grammar police, the people who notice every misspelling and usage error in your writing and assume that you are ignorant based on these errors. Evidently they are disagreeable – certifiably disagreeable.

One of the factors in the Five Factor Personality Analysis (often called the Big Five) is Agreeableness. Research has shown that subjects reading e-mails both with and without spelling and grammar errors downgraded their estimation of the person the most if they also show a low score on Agreeableness. No big deal, you probably expected that to be true.

One of the other factors of the Big Five is Extraversion. Introverts who indicated that good grammar was important to them, were more sensitive to these errors and downgraded the likability of the author of the e-mail much more severely than did introverts who didn’t care about grammar. Overall introverts where not as generous…

View original post 311 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are children more creative?

Do we have any new ideas on the nature of creativity in children?

Write about what?

ImageIf you listened to Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk about “How Schools Kill Creativity” [1], you would assume most children enter school tremendously talented and creative and exit at the opposite end of the spectrum. It is an entertaining talk, including naive quips from children that could easily fit into Art Linkletter’s  (and later Bill Cosby’s) program Kids Say the Darndest Things.

Robinson makes the assumption that the unusual things children say is evidence of creativity. However this idea is never supported during his talk. Sometimes children’s “unique” sayings are a result of misunderstanding language. At other times they are concrete interpretation  of abstract things they have been told.

Robinson also fails to explain why there is a noticeable percentage of students that not only remain creative but increase in creative production while in school. These students are in the same schools that turn out the uncreative students that Robinson…

View original post 464 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can creativity be taught?

The age-old question…

Write about what?

???????????????????  Emmanuel Fremiet’s depiction of himself creating a sculpture model

Anyone working with a program to encourage creativity has found that deliberate efforts to kick start creativity may fail while creative works may still arise in spite of a pedantic atmosphere. The work of the imagination is terribly unpredictable and won’t follow our schedules.

It is very possible that complex creativity, which blends the recognition of far flung connections and the persistence to try every avenue to produce an innovation, is not an ability that can be taught. According to author and editor Irving Taylor, creativity exists hidden within many people, but requires development.  “At some point, however, some conscious discipline and control is beneficial and necessary. It is difficult to know whether developing creativity is like building a muscle or following a recipe.”[1]

Over half a century ago, J. H. McPherson described four different kinds of instruction aimed at improving…

View original post 358 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The origin of originality

Is creative talent a result of genetics, environment or …

Write about what?

026f7386d86f1391f6f184682e8db927Start any discussions on the origin of creativity and you will quickly find the group divided. On one side people claim it is an innate trait. You are either born with or without it. Keep on pressing this faction and most will admit it is not exactly a black or white proposition, rather people are apparently born with varying amounts of creativity. They cite anecdotal examples of young children demonstrating precocious creative ability that grow up to be a great artists, composers, or inventors–such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

On the other hand there are people who see creativity as a skill that can be taught. Now while many of these people are attempting to advance their own curriculum for developing it, not all are. They commonly view the ability to come up with original, useful ideas as our best chance at solving humankind’s problems. They refer to examples of children…

View original post 492 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Optimist or pessimist

Is an artist usually optimistic or pessimistic?

Write about what?

Eggs_Expressions_Happy_Sad1How does a person’s view of the world –optimistic or pessimistic–affect creativity? Psychologist have noted that the average human has a bias towards optimism. People live with the illusion that most situations will turn out better than they actually do. Unrealistic optimism seems to be the norm. On the other hand. pessimism may result in a darker than actual view of the future. Severely depressed people expect more problems than really do occur. The slightly depressed people tend to have the most realistic view of the future [1].

In the world of the ancient Greeks, the character of authors, artists, and composers was often connected with melancholy, a sense of pervasive sadness. In modern times, philosophical pessimism seems rampant among creative people. Just look at the life and work of Miguel de Cervantes, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Joseph Conrad, Richard Wagner, Edward Munch,  Thomas Mann,  Jorge Luis Borges and Albert Camus. However…

View original post 321 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creative styles – what’s in fashion now?

Leave no one behind…

Write about what?

dec steph 199aDoes creativity equate with keeping up with the latest trends? I wince a bit at this thought and realize how many people assume “early adopter” is same as creativity. I realize that no one come’ s up with ideas in a vacuum. We must all build on the past and avoid the building something so disconnected to the current world that it is utterly incomprehensible. However creativity is really defined by starting trends, rather than following them.

Now that creativity has become a valued ability it seems cruel to for anyone to be left out. It is no longer the domain of the eccentric inventors, impractical daydreamers, and those living in garrets on the edge of poverty. Many claim everyone should have the possibility of being creative. But, if you look at any group some people generate far more unique ideas and original work than others do.

The latest trend…

View original post 399 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Creativity and the blame game

Why do creative people receive more blame?

Write about what?

Hendrick_ter_Brugghen_blame 4The emphasis on creativity as a way to provide an economic boost has been followed by a plethora of publications on how to be more creative. But taking those ideas to heart may not be the best move. More than one study has shown that expressing creative ideas  hurts a person’s chances of being considered leadership material.

Wharton Business College and Cornell University found that people judged creative by their colleagues were also seen as having less leadership potential than their peers with ordinary ideas. Another study attempted to determine exactly why this occurred. This second study required college students to watch other students pitch solutions to a problem. Some of the proposals were both original and useful, fitting the definition of creative ideas. A second set of students try to sell ordinary, well-known ideas. It really was the creativity of the ideas, not the  personal warmth, or competence of…

View original post 332 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Personality per the ancient Greeks

Where did this idea actually start?

Write about what?

kachina_paper dolls 4 copyMany of the most current personality tests are built on older theories—sometimes much older theories. Around 2400 years ago, the physician Hippocrates described his idea that human moods were caused by an excess or lack of basic body fluids. Too much blood and you became giddy and talkative, too little and you would become morose. Feeling lazy? Blame it on too much phlegm. He probably borrowed this ideas from someone before him whose name we no longer know.

Although this was not a sound medical observation, the idea of four different temperaments caught on and has hung on for millennia. The word temperament comes  from the same word as tempera paint and means to mix. So philosophers, physicians and psychologist kept mixing four different factors to obtain their palette of personalities.

According to the ancients Greeks these were:

  • Choleric—ambitious, energetic, aggressive, even tyrannical.
  • Sanguine—charismatic, impulsive, pleasure loving and self-indulgent.
  • Phlegmatic—observant…

View original post 284 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment