Leadership development experts make a fundamental distinction between Reactive and Creative Leadership. Research shows that 70% of leaders operate from a reactive framework, but leaders who lead from a creative space are significantly more successful in terms of business performance.
At Benjamin Papa, LLC our passion is helping business and organizational leaders make the fundamental shift from reactive to creative leadership.
Here are the key differences:
Reactive Leadership is the default mode of leadership. It is how we lead when we are on autopilot and is closely connected to our deeply engrained “fight or flight” stress response. Reactive leaders see leadership (and life) as an obstacle course to navigate, a series of problems to solve, or issues to address. Reactive leadership is about “not losing,” and focuses on safety and predictability. When in this default mode, leaders have less access to their full brain power and therefore see and process information in limited ways. For leaders who use the Enneagram (LINK) as a development tool, Reactive Leadership is closely associated with leading from within one’s Enneagram number. Importantly, research is clear that Reactive Leadership is inversely associated with both leadership effectiveness and business performance. Since most leaders are reactive, there is a business opportunity for you as a leader if you are willing to development yourself in ways that help you shift from reactivity to creativity.
Creative Leadership is less common and requires leaders to tap into and consistently live out of an embodied sense of safety, rather than the nervous system’s default state of “high alert.” Creative leaders see life and their professional work as an opportunity, an open canvas, and they are always looking for ways to use their leadership to support their deeply held purpose and vision for their lives, their work, and the world. They are self-authoring and autonomous rather than focusing on outside forces (e.g. competitors, shareholders etc.) and reacting to what they see “out there.” They consistently connect their thinking with their emotions and push for sustained action to implement their ideas and plans. From an Enneagram perspective, creative leaders have transcended and integrated their Enneagram strategy. Data is clear that Creative Leadership is strongly correlated with leadership effectiveness and business success, including profitability.
Depending on your organization’s needs, we facilitate Workshops on a variety of topics related to the shift from Reactive to Creative, as well as offer Executive Coaching and Team Coaching services to support individual leaders and leadership teams as they develop the internal and external skills to lead their organizations and businesses in creative and business-forward ways.