Tiger Woods was a planned superstar. When he was three he appeared on the Mike Douglas Show, at age five he appeared on Golf Digest. So far, he has won 14 majors and he might win more than Jack Nicklaus’ 18. His career is about control and planning. Nutrition, swing, attitude, psychology: he’s the poster child of planned success.
Enter Bubba Watson.
Watson has never had a coach, a trainer, a nutritionist, or a sports psychologist, and he’s proud of it. He has never had a golf lesson. And he just won the Masters.
I’m sure he broke Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule, I’m sure he spent much of his waking time perfecting his game. But, it’s apparent he did it on his own accord. Following his rules. His mindset. And he succeeded by being creative.
According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, CEO’s identify “creativity” as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future. That’s creativity – not operational effectiveness, influence, or even dedication. Coming out of the worst economic downturn in their professional lifetimes, when managerial discipline and rigor ruled the day, this indicates a remarkable shift in attitude. It is consistent with the study’s other major finding: Global complexity is the foremost issue confronting these CEOs and their enterprises. The chief executives see a large gap between the level of complexity coming at them and their confidence that their enterprises are equipped to deal with it.
Until now creativity has generally been viewed as fuel for the engines of research or product development, not the essential leadership asset that must permeate an enterprise.
If I was betting man, I’d put my future money on Bubba. He’s good at improvising, not following the advice of experts. He’s good at listening to his own voice, not listening to a coach.