14.1 - 14 Tools

1.     Discovering Your Authentic Leadership – Bill George, Peter Sims, Andrew N. McLean, Diana Mayer

An essay on authentic leadership and how to discover your style, this reference provides helpful tips to understand where leadership styles come from. It provides valuable examples of leaders and their growth. It goes on to give tips for practicing your own values and principles for authenticity in the leadership sphere, through balancing extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for leadership. It also stresses the importance of having and maintaining a support system as well as remaining grounded during your forays into leadership. This resource is downloaded onto my own personal drive for reference.  

I wish to include this resource in my toolkit to remind myself, in a succinct way, a place to begin my journey again should I forget what authenticity means to me, and how it impacts others. It will be most useful to me when I forget what is at stake in authentic leadership – sustainable, long-term results, and a reinvention of culture from the ground up.


2.     Making Ideas Happen – Scott Belskey

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belskey is a straight forward, no fluff, hard look at organizing and optimizing creativity in order to overcome obstacles in innovation.  He points out that ideas don’t always lead to creation. Putting together a toolkit of common traits, Belsky examines common traits of folks who actually carry ideas to fruition and makes them accessible to other creatives stuck in a rut. Ultimately, Belskey insists creative success is a matter of rethinking methods and increasing focus, while emphasizing and rewarding old-fashioned passion and perspiration. It can be found in my own personal library, both in digital and in physical form.

I wish to include this resource in my toolkit, earmarked to all hell, because the type of idea-intoxication Scott talks about in his book resonates with the type of problems I have with harnessing my idea potential.  It will come in handy when I am having a hard time remembering that creativity is also hard work, and I get caught up thinking I have to be an innate genius in order to be taken seriously for my work.


3.     Tribal Leadership – Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer

Tribal Leadership is a book that talks about tribes as they relate to the natural human inclination to create groups, and how to lead them successfully. It argues that every company is a tribe, or if it is large enough, a tribe of tribes. In Tribal Leadership, tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or CEOs, and yet their key leverage points have never been mapped out before – until this book. It is also in my private library, in digital format.


I wish to include Tribal Leadership in my purvey for those times that I will feel like I do not belong, and that I have no purpose being within a group. I also wish to have it in my purvey because sometimes you find yourself lonely because you’re in the wrong tribe – this at least gives me the tools to begin to create my own.


4.     Zen Habits Blog –Leo Babauta

“Zen Habits”, the blog, can be found at https://zenhabits.net/. The brainchild of Leo Babauta, his theories and dharma about the simplified life blend leadership and self reflection with the formation of habits.

I wish to include this in my toolkit as an augmentation to my creative leadership journey as a reminder in the more complex, overthinking, and anxious moments, that the simplest and most powerful thing you can do is look at your habits…and change them.


5.     Neil Crofts – Authentic Leadership

Neil Crofts is an exceptional systems thinker and business consultant, tackling business leadership theory from a perspective that includes all stakeholders and impacts in one collective picture. His blog is invaluable to leaders looking to take into account large scale visions and applications to daily problems in small entrepreneurship.

I wish to include his words in my toolkit to speak to the systems person inside me. His perspectives resonate with my way of thinking, especially, and I feel it pertinent to my capability of seeing the worth of the larger picture.


6.     The Power of Mindful Leadership – Bill George,


Bill discusses the practice of mindfulness and its role in positive leadership experiences. Aside from its scientifically proven merits for mental clarity, greater empathy, and cost recuperation, mindfulness is good for you as a leader, period, to instill high levels of self awareness and intention for your business.

I wish to include his words in my toolkit as an affirmation that my meditation practice is good for me and my journey as a creative leader.


7.     O&R Session – Denise DeLuca

An O&R session is a skill taught by Denise DeLuca, wherein the creative leader takes thirty minutes out of her day to sit with a topic or intention. The process to do so includes ten minutes in closed eyed meditation, then ten minutes open and contemplative meditation, and finally ten minutes open observations regarding the intention presented at the start of the session.

I wish to include this skill into my session as a valuable format of meditation to check in with myself for the times that I’m not connected to what my why is. I will use this as a compass, to learn what next directions are for my practice.


8.     The Flip Manifesto – Daniel H Pink

 A quirky assault on status quo definitions of leadership, The Flip Manifesto outlines sixteen different ways organizations that break above just “successful” are doing to achieve great things. They’ve taken age-old beliefs – and turned them upside down. He argues that we should be doing what we’re doing, but in reverse order, that doubting yourself is often wiser than believing in yourself, that finding your passion is a stupid idea, and that maximizing shareholder value is worse still.

An affirmation of my healthy dose of skepticism for authority, I wish to keep the Flip Manifesto in my toolkit whenever I’m tempted to measure my success by what has been done in the past – or really, by other people’s success, period.


9.     Why Should Anyone By Led By You? – Gareth Jones

 Professor Gareth Jones discusses the importance of Authentic Leadership. Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? Is grounded in the research and thought leadership of London Business School professor Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, authors of the best selling Harvard Business Review article and book of the same name. http://www.blessingwhite.com

Be yourself, more, with skill. Gareth Jones highlights how hard it is to do this. I wish to include this in my toolkit as a skill – a reminder that the way to authentic leadership comes from creating more space for myself, implementing myself, and doing it with skill.


10. Define the Purpose of Your Leadership – Bill George


What is the purpose of leadership? If you don’t have your purpose, why would anyone want to follow you? Do you know where you’re going? Bill George succinctly describes a framework of questions, illustrating the institutional and moral chaos that can happen if you lack the answer to this question.

I wish to include this resource as a reminder that purpose is so integral to being an effective leader. It will come in handy when I feel buffeted about by choices and what my why is in life.


11. Printing Two Labels – Denise DeLuca, Assignment /Exercise

Printing two labels is an exercise within which we understand how expectations can influence how someone behaves, or how they are being perceived.

I wish to include this resource as a means to remember how much labels affect people, to highlight the uncomfortable activity that we do unconsciously– in good and bad ways.


12. Creating Triads – Denise DeLuca, Assignment/Exercise

The process to creating triads in groups, as an alternative way of networking, is to introduce two people that you know to each other, utilizing what you value in each of the individuals to create a spark of collaboration with each other.

I wish to include this skill in my networking toolkit to assuage my social anxiety during networking events, and to create better communities within my life built around supporting each other.


13. Is There An Equation for Happiness? – Chip Conley


In 2007, Chip Conley wrote PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow. In it, he documents how as the CEO of a large boutique hotel company, Chip used Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to create happier employees and customers during the last downturn. He’s out with his newest book, Emotional Equations: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success.

Chip has a way of talking about emotions in a cut and dry logical sense, making sense of an often-tangled array of nasty feelings associated with customer bases. Incidentally, he also provided a way for me to look at my own mess and discern exactly what it was that was preventing me from finding my purpose. These equations, Despair = Suffering – Meaning, Happiness = Wanting What You Have / Having What You Want, and Joy = Love – Fear, will be lasting frameworks for making sense of my inner tumult in my search for finding peace.


14. On Becoming A Leader – Warren Bennis

A beautiful book on becoming a leader, we focused on reading the end for Week 14 of creative leadership as a reflection on what we have learned. Bennis has a way of cataloguing and inspiring leaders to the cause, and highlights, with hope, the ways that we all can tackle the problems at hand. He is straight forward, succinct, and leads the reader directly to the thing at hand, expecting greatness.


I wish to include this resource as a way to go over an inspring account on how leaders are formed, and where we’re going. If all else fails after review in Tribal Leadership  and Making Ideas Happen, I hope to turn to this when I forget all the reasons why I’m qualified, capable, and acceptable as a creative leader.