Creative Reluctance.

Day 124 Week 18 Q2 Friday, May 5, 2023

It is natural initially or a person to project who they are upon everyone else. After all, we see the world as we are. For this reason, creative outliers, who don’t like to be told what to do, also often do not like to tell others what to do, for they assume that if they do not like to be told what to do, neither do other people.¬† Eventually, they learn that this is an incorrect assumption. Unfortunately, there is a period during which they are certain that they do not want to be told what to do by others, and therefore they are reluctant followers. More damaging from the organizational perspective is their reluctance to lead for the same reason. I have been there myself, but when the people who work for you revolt and come in to tell you that you had better tell them what to do because otherwise, you will be reneging on your responsibility. You take that to heart.

Doing this in a corporate setting instead of in the company you founded is more likely to result in losing your management position. Professional managers have difficulty understanding why anyone would be reluctant to manage. But when you own the company, at least you don’t get fired for it, but you do have to change quickly. In addition to being reluctant to manage, there’s also the potential to be reluctant to lead as well, and these are not the same thing. In fact, most managers are not leaders, and many leaders are not managers.

Unfortunately, most managers think that they are leaders. And equally, unfortunately, many leaders are terrible managers. You would think they have the same priorities, but they do not. And here’s where the creative outlier comes in.¬† Creative outliers are usually more interested in making things happen than and telling others what to do until they eventually realize that if they want large things to happen, they have to tell other people what to do..

This can be uncomfortable because it takes time to manage people, and this is time that is necessarily taken away from actually doing anything yourself. It is difficult to be both a doer and a manager, not to mention also to be a leader. But this is what is required, sometimes to manage, lead, and sometimes do. If the doer is an artisan maker, they can be a very difficult boss to work for because their standards are unreasonably high for most people to follow.

These issues arise when traversing the gap between independent contributors and managers. Know that you are not alone in facing these issues. This is a good time to find a mentor who has been on both sides of the fence. I can help you understand how to deal with the situation of creative reluctance.