anti-creativity and mentoring

By J. William DeMarco (sort of)

In my usual daily scan of articles, I came across an article about an article…. so in turn–I figured it was time to ponder an article about an article, about an article (stay with me here).

The older I get, the more I ponder mentoring, education, and training… sometimes we think we need to mentor so people can see how great we have become.  We place ourselves on a pedestal and want underlings to gather and listen as the wise sage ponders his/her successes.

I guess I look at if through a different lens.  If there is a way to mess things up–there is a good chance I have found it.  As such, I would love to assist others in maybe avoiding some of these pitfalls and boost the organization as a whole to new heights.  Basically, telling the stories of mistakes in an open and transparent manner to benefit individuals and organizations. These were the thoughts I had reading Braden Kelley’s blog regarding Yougme Moon’s “Anti-Creativity Checklist” article at the Harvard Business Review.

If I could sum up some of the mistakes I have made and others I have seen that cause havoc in organizations and force units into a status quo environment…Yougme Moon’s checklist is it.  I am sure many have existed in such places… and it is purgatory to say the least.  So…let’s take the list below and do the total opposite.

Braden Kelley curated Yougme Moon’s checklist from the video above, which you may just want to watch:

  1. Play it safe. Listen to that inner voice.
  2. Know your limitations. Don’t be afraid to pigeonhole yourself.
  3. Remind yourself: It’s just a job.
  4. Show you’re the smartest guy in the room. Make skepticism your middle name.
  5. Be the tough guy. Demand to see the data.
  6. Respect history. Always give the past the benefit of the doubt.
  7. Stop the madness before it can get started. Crush early-stage ideas with your business savvy.
  8. Been there, done that. Use experience as weapon.
  9. Keep your eyes closed. Your mind too.
  10. Assume there is no problem.
  11. Underestimate your customers.
  12. Be a mentor. Give sound advice to the people who work for you.
  13. Be suspicious of the “creatives” in your organization.
  14. When all else fails, act like a grown-up.
Do you know any leaders or organizations like this? Perhaps they have this checklist near by…

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