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The Cat Herder: The Role and Function of the Agency Creative Director
Unformatted Document Text:  THE  CAT  HERDER     10   Effective leaders are also experts at planning and sense making, including the definition of goals and paths to goal attainment (Mumford et al. 2002). Social skills are also important for creative leaders, especially persuasion, which is important because creative leaders deal with creative people, who are not easily persuaded (Mumford et al. 2002). Further, creativity involves risk, and people are likely to reject some novel ideas. Dudeck and Hall (1991) found that architects in managerial positions needed persuasive skills to sell in projects and proposals to clients and potential clients. Leaders who have more adept and less introverted social skills are also likely to be successful at building networks and persuading management to support a project. Another way to view the role of the creative leader is to determine what characteristics subordinates desire in a creative leader. Studies have shown that employees appreciate creative leaders who are supportive and non-controlling (Oldham & Cummings 1996) and who ask for input into decisions (Andrews & Farris 1967). Amabile, Schatzel, Moneta, and Kramer (2004) found that creative managers provide support to subordinates “by monitoring their progress efficiently and fairly, consulting with them on important decisions, supporting them emotionally, and recognizing them for good work. They display a lack of support by monitoring progress inefficiently or unfairly, giving them unclear or inappropriate task assignments and failing to address important problems” (p. 25). Finally, creative leaders must be adept at certain job roles and functions, including hiring and managing creative people; managing the creative process and product; and fostering a creative culture (Amabile & Khaire 2008; Csikszentmihalyi 1988; Florida & Goodnight 2005; Hunt et. al. 2004, Townley et. al. 2009).

Authors: Mallia, Karen., Windels, Kasey. and Broyles, Sheri.
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Effective leaders are also experts at planning and sense making, including the 
definition of goals and paths to goal attainment (Mumford et al. 2002). Social skills are also 
important for creative leaders, especially persuasion, which is important because creative 
leaders deal with creative people, who are not easily persuaded (Mumford et al. 2002). 
Further, creativity involves risk, and people are likely to reject some novel ideas. Dudeck and 
Hall (1991) found that architects in managerial positions needed persuasive skills to sell in 
projects and proposals to clients and potential clients. Leaders who have more adept and less 
introverted social skills are also likely to be successful at building networks and persuading 
management to support a project.  
Another way to view the role of the creative leader is to determine what 
characteristics subordinates desire in a creative leader. Studies have shown that employees 
appreciate creative leaders who are supportive and non-controlling (Oldham & Cummings 
1996) and who ask for input into decisions (Andrews & Farris 1967). Amabile, Schatzel, 
Moneta, and Kramer (2004) found that creative managers provide support to subordinates 
“by monitoring their progress efficiently and fairly, consulting with them on important 
decisions, supporting them emotionally, and recognizing them for good work. They display a 
lack of support by monitoring progress inefficiently or unfairly, giving them unclear or 
inappropriate task assignments and failing to address important problems” (p. 25).  
Finally, creative leaders must be adept at certain job roles and functions, including 
hiring and managing creative people; managing the creative process and product; and 
fostering a creative culture (Amabile & Khaire 2008; Csikszentmihalyi 1988; Florida & 
Goodnight 2005; Hunt et. al. 2004, Townley et. al. 2009).  

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