4 ways to assert creative leadership

Creativity can be a delicate process and is highly dependent both on the attitudes of the participating individuals, as well as on the group dynamic of the team. Special consideration of both these factors is therefore necessary when leading the process. Fundamentally, these considerations can be observed through four different creative leadership styles:
  1. Through delegation
  2. Through integration
  3. Through evaluation
  4. Through coaching

Each team is different so you may need to arrive at which style is most purposeful through trial-and-error.

Leader ”owns” the entire process and leads by example, initiates and executes main processes him/herself and then delegates tasks within each step of the process.
+ Superior quality control
+ Fast
+ Efficient
+ Results oriented
+ Compartmentalization
+ Can be applied to either
   employees or contractors
+ Authority very clear
+ Reigns-in resources
+ Maximizes benefits of senior
+ Tailored results
+ WYSIWYG for client
– Requires total mandate
– Individual dependent
– Risk of bottlenecks
– Rigid, inflexible structure
– Restricts junior resources
– Lack of teamwork
– Limited learning opportunities


Leader controls the process, leads by managing core feature/creative ”hub” of the project, dividing tasks and iteratively integrating results into this ”hub” as work progresses.
+ Controlled collaboration
+ Iterative, step by step process
+ Develops junior talent
+ Buy-in from all
– Does not fully leverage senior
– Somewhat labor intensive


Leader manages the process, assigns tasks and follows progress by evaluating results, approving or disapproving and giving continuous instructions.
+ Freedom under responsibility
+ Traditional, well-established
+ Suitable for large teams
   and/or projects
– Authority unclear (mom vs dad)
– Inefficient, more overhead
– Risk of miscommunication
– Trial-and-error


Leader monitors the process, oversees work and ”nudges” efforts in the right direction.
+ Flexible
+ Free structure
+ Individual creative freedom
+ Suitable for experienced teams
+ Variable creative input
– Inexact, vague direction
– ”Design by committee”
– Inconsistent decisions/voting
– Risk for conflicts
– Poor quality control

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