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John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

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    Charlie Rose

    Creative Self-Confidence


    David Kelley’s goal is to build world class designers. He’s the founder of IDEO, a Silicon Valley global design firm whose objective is to create impact through design; and the Stanford “D” school which trains students from various disciplines to incorporate design thinking into their work. Kelley’s firm is known for designing some of the most intriguing ideas, such as the first computer mouse for Apple, the defibrillator that talks to you during an emergency, and the stand-up toothpaste tube. They have expertise and capabilities in brand building, health and wellness, medical products, digital experiences, and business design, to name just a few.

    His underlying premise is that everyone is creative. We simply stop displaying our creativity as we grow up and are encouraged to conform to established norms around us, and therefore it ebbs away. Kelley works with his students to develop and release this creative confidence again; to help them learn to try new things. According to an interview with Charlie Rose in a January 6, 2013, 60 Minutes feature story on IDEO, one of the ways he gains new design ideas is by watching people. Kelley is empathetic to understand what they really value and how they operate in their environment, and his team interviews people to see what they think and feel.  Kelley builds world-class designers who in turn design break-through inventions.  He builds teams of individuals from vastly different backgrounds and leverages their differences to create new solutions, even in areas where they have no natural expertise.


    Creative Steps

    David Kelley’s work is fascinating, but everyone won’t have the benefit of working with someone of his caliber.  So how can you develop a team with a greater creative self-confidence? Consider these tips.

    ·        Thinking environment – Most of us operate in a “doing” environment. We establish processes and routines around what we do and how we handle situations. This creates efficient systems but robs us of the possibilities of improvement and creativity, because we fail to stop and “think” about how we could operate differently. In a “thinking” environment, people are encouraged to reflect on what’s happening, why it’s happening, and alternatives to the current state that will help us reach the desired outcomes. When one person in the team does this, he or she may be considered difficult to work with.  But when an entire team or organization takes time to think through certain situations, they can stimulate break through ideas. Collective ideas make progress.

    ·        Spirit of curiosity – Accepting the status quo limits our thinking. What if the Wright brothers had simply accepted that no one had been successful in building a flying machine, and therefore stopped trying? There’s always pressure to keep doing things the way they’ve always been done, thus conformity becomes the enemy of creativity. All of the inventions we depend on today (like my iPhone, iPad, laptop, etc.) are the result of someone having a spirit of curiosity about how things might work if we just kept trying different alternatives.

    ·        Emphasis on quality, not quantity – Ultimately, one is always sacrificed for the other.  It’s impossible to have an equal balance of both. But at some point, in the development of every new idea or plan, a decision must be made on which one is more important. The appropriate emphasis on quality has the potential to yield a more creative outcome when you consider broader alternatives.

    ·        Nurturing new ideas – Some companies pay lip service to programs soliciting suggestions from employees. They fail however to commit sufficient resources to evaluating these ideas, and to fully engage the organization in valuing different perspectives and approaches. Though only a small percentage of ideas may be workable, the process of getting creative juices flowing and nurturing ideas, creates a stimulating environment where employees are more likely to explore alternatives.  In the 60 Minutes piece, Kelley described growing up in an environment where when something broke, he was expected to take it apart and find a way to fix it. This environment nurtured the creative genius in him. Similarly, Hackathons, first popular in Silicon Valley, provide a nurturing environment when groups of people come together to solve a problem, or develop new solutions or technology.

    ·        Interact with different people – You’ve heard that Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. So it stands to reason that if you hang around with the same people, or people just like you, then you’ll probably keep thinking the same thoughts.  This is natural for most of us because we’re attracted to people who share similar interests. But if you want to stimulate creativity, find people to talk with who have different perspectives. Find people who have different expertise, interests and ways of doing things. Throw a problem into the discussion and open your mind to learn from their different approaches to solving it.  You can bring together a cross disciplinary team at work to solve a problem (yes, ask a finance person to help you solve an engineering problem), or give you new ideas on how to approach it.

    Most of all, to build creative self-confidence in their teams, leaders must look for opportunities to identify and reward creativity in the behaviors of those around them. Even when the results aren’t as practical or useful, recognize the effort and encourage others to replicate it.

    Think again about the computer mouse.  Nothing like it existed before. Consumers weren’t used to this type of device. The design had to be simple and intuitive, and they had to consider eye-hand coordination with the visual screen, along with the look and feel of it. That’s creating something out of nothing.

    So how have you exercised your creativity lately? What are you inspired to do differently? Have you placed yourself in a different environment so that you can see things from a different perspective? Developing creative self-confidence begins with you, and then you can spread it to others. So hurry up and start now so that you can nurture others around you.

    Watch the 60 Minutes video here.

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    Who’s Your Tiger?

    I caught a few minutes of an interview recently between Charlie Rose, the acclaimed PBS interviewer and recent CBS morning news host, and Jim Nantz, CBS Sportscaster for The Masters’ Golf tournament. The key topic of course was Tiger Woods and his chances of again winning this major tournament. According to Nantz, Tiger’s left knee has been operated on four times, literally rebuilt, but that process has spawned a number of other injuries related to the knee, including Achilles tendon issues. If he is to succeed in his quest to beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of major championship wins, Tiger needs to win five more majors. Assuming his body holds up another 10 years, with four majors a year, 40 in total, he should be able to easily best Nicklaus. 

    Interestingly though, they commented that the field of golfers has changed significantly since Tiger’s last major win four years ago. Instead of just the golfers in their 30s and 40s, most of whom have been mentally and physically intimidated by Tiger’s skill, there is a new crop of younger golfers in their 20s emerging who are poised and ready to establish and define their own era of golf. They’re not intimidated by Tiger, or used to him beating them by double digit strokes. They’re confident and fearless.


    I’m not a huge golfing fan so I sought out my local golf pro (my husband) to gain insight on whether Tiger really upped the level of the game, or were the new younger golfers just better. His opinion was that Tiger’s focus and commitment to the game taught other would-be players about the importance of body strength, practice and pure skill. This interview was really thought provoking, so I have two questions for you. Who’s your Tiger? And how do you respond to him? Continue reading

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