5 Ways to Lead Creative People without Stifling Them


Ron Edmondson shares 5 things he's learned about leading creative types.

I love creativity. When we planted Grace Community Church, we surrounded ourselves with highly creative minds and allowed them to dream big dreams. One thing I realized early in the life of the church, however, is that creative people can be more difficult to lead. Maybe you’ve seen that.They don’t always fit within the established systems of the organization.

I’ve learned a few things along the way about leading creative types. Perhaps some of these tips will help you.

If you want to lead creative people without stifling their creativity:

  1. Give clear communication of your expectations and the vision you are trying to attain – Creative people need to know your expectations and where you want to go, but they don’t like to be held to standards they didn’t know existed or put into a boxed set of rules or a script of how to attain the vision…
  2. Help them find the structure that works for them – Creative types need and want appropriate boundaries that are not too constricting, but they are often not good at developing those boundaries for themselves…
  3. Forgive them easily – Creative types often are messy people when trying to explore new ideas and they make mistakes along the way…recognize that this is part of what makes them successful at what they do…
  4. Exhibit lots of patience – Creative types don’t always fall within the established system, but remember that’s one reason you want them…
  5. Reward and praise often – Everyone needs to feel appreciated, but in my experience, highly creative people tend to thrive on it. It stirs their creative energies even more…

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