Creative Confidence: A Leader’s Shift

Kate Canales ICF GLF sketch

Earlier this month, I traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, USA to attend the second annual International Coach Federation Global Leaders Forum (GLF). I was especially excited and honored to represent my local Chapter, ICF Philadelphia, again and to have the privilege of hearing keynote speaker Kate Canales, Director of Design and Innovation Programs at Southern Methodist University. This was not your typical coaching conference.

But, rather it was a forum of leaders from all over the globe, committed to building a high-performance organization for the advancement of professional coaching. I was there to learn more about positive disruptions in leadership and shift as a leader for my chapter, my global association and my work as an executive and leadership coach.

Here are my notes from Kate Canales’ keynote, “The Design of Disruption” (after the initial sketching exercise that was designed to ignite the audience’s creativity including my own). It’s important to understand that design thinking is an applicable framework for leaders wanting to create unique opportunities and gain a competitive edge in an ever-competitive-and-changing environment. As you read, think of a challenge that demands a new approach in order to achieve a new solution.

Creativity is the #1 leadership competency for your success in business now and in the future. According to the IBM Global CEO study, standout leaders encourage experimentation and innovation throughout the organization. Creative leaders expect to make extensive business model changes in order to realize their strategies. To succeed, creative leaders take more calculated risks, find new ideas and keep innovating how they lead and communicate. Where might you exercise your risk-taking or boldness muscle?

Design thinking is an applicable process for creative and innovative ideas and for solving problems. It is not limited to industry or expertise, rather the most successful organizations co-create products and services for customers while improving processes designed for better solutions. It’s time to “think outside of the box” and gain new perspective for solving your problem. What problem are you facing that needs an outside perspective?

Creative confidence helps leaders break the habit of planning. All too often, we spend too much time planning and fail to execute our ideas. One of the easiest ways to break the overplanning syndrome and spark creativity is to draw your ideas on paper (with colored markers) or write your ideas on Post-it notes.

From my own experience, the use of colored pencils and moving notes on a whiteboard is a fun process and deepens my thinking for new strategies in pursuit of my goal.

In the words of Thomas Edison, about failure and inventing the lightbulb: “I have not failed, not once. I’ve discovered ten thousand ways that don’t work.”

What will creative confidence bring you as a leader and coach?

ICF Philadelphia at ICF GLF

ICF Philadelphia Chapter members at GLF (Pictured left to right): Peg Calvario, Pat Matthews, Lynn Meinke and Becky Scott

Top Photo Credit: A sketch by Kate Canales


Peg Calvario headshotPeg Calvario, PCC is an executive and leadership coach, a consultant and an active contributor to the coaching profession in various leadership roles.  Her coaching focuses on leadership development, particularly for emerging leaders in family-owned businesses who want to accelerate growth.  She often mentors coaches applying for ICF Credentials.  In 2008, Peg sold her family-owned fitness business after 26 years and created a fresh start enrolling in CTI’s Coach Training program.  She is President of ICF Philadelphia Chapter.  Learn more at www.pegcalvario.com.  Listen to her new podcast, The Competitive Advantage Podcast

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.