Ever notice how that professor that you loved in college or the teacher that inspired you also seemed to get the best work out of you?  This is because people that can push ideas are fertile ground for creativity. Leaders that can see the root of a good idea and push the idea to the best that it can be will have a garden of great projects at their fingertips. Talented people want to be on their team because of the environment they create.

 Ideas are the seeds of greatness, but ideas are imperfect.

Ideas are the seeds of greatness, but ideas are imperfect.

So how do you become the fertile ground that cultivates greatness? Push ideas rather than pull them. Pulling ideas is the act of constricting the creative energy. It is the act of pulling back or cutting projects because the idea is not fully formed. Newly minted ideas are flawed and often half-baked; usually it does not take a rocket scientist to point out these defects. A great leader sees the potential--the thread of truth--and rather than dismissing the idea for its obvious fragility, they push for the best from the creator. Pushing their team to look at the questions from multiple perspectives, to assume the role of all the different stakeholders, and play out all the different scenarios. Creativity flourishes and becomes a part of the culture in the right environment.

A few questions that can help people to push their ideas to the next level:

  • Consider how this will effect ______?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • Who else participates in this ecosystem but is not a stakeholder?
  • Does this address the root of the issue?
  • Identify potential solutions and unforeseen challenges?

I come from a family where criticism is our love language and so sometimes I can be very critical. My challenge this week is to see how often I can be the fertile ground for others creativity!