The following is a guest post by Joseph Lalonde. He is a youth leader at Oak Crest Church of God and leadership blogger at Joseph’s blog is consistently one of the top 50 read leadership blogs on the internet.  He has leadership tools and encourages you to become a better leader. With him onTwitter or at his blog.  Enjoy his thoughts on some of the toughest people to lead – artists.


More than ever creative and artistic types are being promoted to places of leadership. Organizations are looking to bring new insights into old business.

If you’re an artist, this means you’re luckier than ever. You’re exactly what these companies are looking for.

You’re bright. You’re young. You’ve got ideas that no one else has ever had.

But there are caveats to being an artistic leader.

·         Your creative ideas will be met with resistance: You might be wondering why new ideas would be met with resistance when the company hired you because you thought differently. It’s a strange paradox.

The ones who will meet your new ideas with resistance are the old school managers. The ones who have been through thick and thin and have seen new ideas come and go. They’re not impressed.

Be willing to show these old leaders that new ideas are still possible. And that they’re good ideas. Lay out the plans you have and how they’ll affect the company. If you’ve got a plan, there’s the possibility to alleviate some of the fears from the old guard.

·         Not everyone will understand you: We all know that creative types tend to be a little odd. Creatives have little idiosyncrasies that others do not.

Your expressiveness will not be met with the jubilation you may expect. Instead, many people may see it as a weakness.

They may believe that design is unimportant. All you do is sit around the office and play. Your lifestyle is wild and uncontrolled.

You know these aren’t true. Apple is a great example of a company that has embraced artists and the design side. Their products are beautiful and shine.

You also know your work involves much more than sitting around the office and playing all day. You’ve become disciplined to pump out the work that needs to be done. If you weren’t able to do this, work would never be accomplished.

·         Your artistic ability won’t sell itself: We know you’ve got the creative ideas and a drive to succeed.

There’s willingness to put your nose to the grindstone and do the work. And you’ve done some great work in the past.

But that won’t get you anywhere. Your ability won’t sell itself.

Instead, you’ve got to be willing to sell your talents to those looking to hire you. Show them how your artistic talents apply to leadership.

Your creative mind may be able to see answers to problems others haven’t been able to solve. Or you might be able to communicate better with the young generation below.

Demonstrate and promote these skills to the organizations you’re looking to work for. Give them examples of past work and how it’s helped the company grow. Just don’t think your ability will sell itself.

Sure, there’s some hurdles that must be overcome as an artistic leader but they’re not insurmountable.

When you begin to encounter resistance, remember you’ve got to push through. Make sure there’s a clear plan behind your creative ideas. Work to understand those you’re working for, and work to help them understand you. And, lastly, begin selling your artistic abilities and the benefits they’ll bring.

Question: How have you used your artistic ability in a leadership role? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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