Elevators, Creativity, Collaboration, and Leadership

Perhaps you’ve seen this video of Arcade Fire performing Neon Bible … live … in an elevator. Good stuff. Did you notice the percussionist, though? Since an elevator is obviously too small a place for a full drum set (along with 7 people and all their assorted instruments) he’s there banging on the elevator ceiling and ripping pages out of a magazine … to the beat! Magnificent! It all got me thinking about how being a leader today requires a creative flair not unlike that of the guy ripping pages to the beat in that crowded elevator. To wit:

  • Limitations in Resources – What boss isn’t being asked to do more and more with less and less?!
  • Consistently Unchartered Territories – What boss is still able to rely on yesterday’s solutions’ to today’s (and tomorrow’s) problems?!
  • Increasingly Complexities – What boss only gets routine/familiar assignments to grapple with anymore?!
  • Self-Management Challenges – What boss doesn’t have to effectively manage tempo, tone, and timbre regardless of whatever is or is not happening?!
  •  Conflicting Priorities – What boss doesn’t have to simultaneously manage multiple challenges and generate meaningful business-impacting results for each?
  • Self/Other Dynamics – What boss doesn’t need to stand out in the crowd without undermining teamwork, collaboration, or one’s reputation?!

Today’s leaders need an agility and readiness to deal with … whatever … whenever. Sometimes that may mean ‘banging on the ceiling’; sometimes that may mean tearing things up and starting anew. Regardless, it’s a boss’s job to insure that all parties – including themselves – ‘keep the beat’ and all ‘play nicely’ together. Now go ride that elevator to the very top floor!

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