building creative communitiesIt’s no secret that Millennials are a creative bunch. In fact, we’ve been dubbed the most creative generation in history on more than one occasion. I see it clearly myself. Practically every Millennial I know is carving their own path. They’re making lemonade out of lemons. They’re diversifying themselves. They’re playing up their strengths and pushing through their weaknesses. All with the goal of expressing their creativity in some capacity.

And I think creativity is inherent in all of us – not just Millennials – but unlike generations before us, we were born at a time where all of the ingredients necessary came together and formed the perfect cocktail to foster that creativity. It’s a good thing because creativity is needed today. It’s a crucial attribution of a great leader.

Why? There are so many reasons. For example, creativity is required for problem solving, conflict resolution, and cultivating the ability to pull creativity from others (ie. inspire them.) The more creativity and inspiration, the more great work is done in the world.

One of the best ways to put all three of those examples into practice is to create a community; in real life and/or online. There are many ways to do this – many paths you could take, but the best is to create something you are passionate about yourself. Perhaps it’s design, or writing, or visual arts, or music – you can be sure there are many people just as passionate, seeking a like-minded community.

Developing this community also has so benefits beyond leadership skills. It can also lead to inspiring collaborations, friendships, and very real connections that fulfill something deeper within us. An added bonus is that it can provide a platform for those who may some day need one.

5 Tips to Be a Creative Community Leader

Before you begin your journey, I am sharing 5 tips on how you can put your best foot forward in the role of Creative Community Leader.

Tip 1:  Be reliable

Life is very busy and overwhelming these days, especially with the constant interruption of social media. If you have put the effort into creating a community, the best thing you can offer everyone involved is reliability. Be there when you say you will be. Listen when you should be listening. Do what you say you’re going to do. Reliability is becoming a lost art – be one of the few who master it.

Tip 2: Open up the conversation

It’s your job to open the flow of dialogue in your group. Do research and find thought-provoking articles and topics. Sometimes they don’t land, but sometimes they do – these conversations lay the foundation of trust.

Tip 3: Take a risk

If you think something is a good idea, try it. Give it a shot. There’s only one way to find out if you were wrong. Be fearless in your leadership, but keep your ego in check.

Tip 4. Be yourself

If you’re leading a community, you must try your best to be yourself. It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. Authenticity is truly the only way to connect on a significant level with people, and it seems to be another lost art these days. Remember, vulnerability is the king of connection.

Tip 5: Keep it safe

You want everyone involved to feel safe in your community – like they can talk about things and openly express themselves. Have you ever watched improv? The best work often stems from stream-of-consciousness. Most people, however, aren’t trained to think that way. There are filters blocking the flow. Be sure to make your community as judgment free and safe as possible with guidelines.

What tips do you have to be a creative community leader?