Albert Einstein is quoted saying, “the true sign of imagination is not knowledge, but imagination (Pardekooper, 2016). C.S. Lewis wrote ”imagination is the organ of meaning…producing new metaphors or revivifying old, not caused by truth, but as a condition of it” (Lewis, 1939). Imagination is built into every individual, and the need to create is an innate desire deep within each individual’s psyche. Since our Creator, Yahweh, is creative and mankind is made in His image (Gen. 1.27), all of mankind is made to create and imagine what could be (Oster, 2011). Being creative is not something an individual just does, but it is an act of worship towards Yahweh Himself (Oster, 2011). Using imagination, being creative, and innovating is a relational act where one can experience and communicate with God in order to ultimately accomplish His earthly will for mankind (Oster, 2011)
For leaders, Christian or secular, being creative and innovative is a part of who they are, and if they find themselves ineffective in their leadership, it may be because they are not activating their built-in ability to be creative. Being creative is a mental discipline more than an innate ability (Kuest, 2012). Being creative is the ability to conjure up mental pictures of things not seen, to experience the freedom of brainstorming and to live part-time in the realm of the innovative (Kuest, 2012). It is playing with and “reordering objects or concepts in such a way that no foregone result is achieved (Oster, 2011). As leaders imagine and create, they are able to engage their followers in innovative and creative problem solving (Kuest, 2012), which breeds energy, excitement, and an excited anticipation for the future.
How can leaders who feel they are not creative activate their ability to imagine and innovate?
Kuest, R. (2012). Leader: Who Are You?. the Institute for Spiritual Leadership Training.
Lewis, C. S. (1939). Rehabilitations And Other Essays 1939. Facsimile Publisher.
Michalko, M. (2006). Thinkertoys: a handbook of creative-thinking techniques (2nd ed). Berkeley, Calif: Ten Speed Press.
Oster, G. W. (2011). The light prize: perspectives on Christian innovation. Virginia Beach, Va.: Positive Signs Media.
Pardekooper, B. (2016). Growth Journey Level I: Lead Yourself (1.0 edition). Modern Inklings Publishing.