(Feb. 29, 2016) -- According to a new study by Dina Krasikova, assistant professor of management at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the key to a successful, creative leader is confidence. Krasikova, an expert in leadership, took a closer look at the modern workplace and noted that many factors lead to a productive, well-led team.
“Creativity is valued in many organizations, especially places like Google, which is all about creative products,” Krasikova said. “In any type of organization, a leader is meant to come up with useful, novel ideas. Naturally, employees carry that responsibility as well.”
Her top-tier research on leadership showed that ineffective or abusive leaders will create stressful situations for their employees by humiliating them in front of others, playing favorites or not giving their subordinates proper credit for their work.
“When you feel stressed, you feel helpless and your productivity and creativity is diminished,” she said. “Many times this originates with the leader. For example, you might come to work unsure of what you’re supposed to be doing because you get conflicting expectations from your direct supervisor or your boss. The solution is clear roles and communication.”
Since her field, academia, is so focused on being creative with research, she and her colleagues Lei Huang of Auburn University and Dong Liu of the Georgia Institute of Technology, decided to explore what makes a creative leader so effective.
“When leaders feel confident that they can produce creative outcomes, their subordinates become more creative,” she said. “It’s that simple. But how do you create that environment in the first place?”
Usually, creative leaders have the proper experience to fuel their ideas. As a result, they’re more confident. Also, leaders become more confident in their creativity when it is recognized by upper-level management. But what surprised Krasikova is that a leader’s creativity and confidence is contagious.
“A factor in this is the power of positive thinking,” she said. “Leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves.”
Krasikova also stressed the importance of high-quality interpersonal relationships between leaders and subordinates, with an emphasis on trust, loyalty and mutual professional respect.
“When a confident, creative leader also has good relationship with subordinates, it has even a stronger impact on subordinates’ creativity,” she said. “Creativity flourishes in supportive environments where leaders and subordinates have good interpersonal relationships. In such environm ents, subordinates will go an extra mile for a leader without expecting anything in return because they have a good relationship. They can depend on each other, because they trust each other.”
However, when a leader is not confident or creative, there’s a trickle-down effect and employees feel less confident in their own abilities to be creative.
Krasikova hopes that her research will help employers hire leaders not just with proper experience, but who are also confident and have the ability to form strong, positive working relationships.
“Leadership is a very complex phenomenon,” she said. “It’s not about whether leaders are born or made, it’s about how they use their skills once they get into that position.”
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Management.
Read Dina Krasikova’s study “I can do it, so can you: The role of leader creative self-efficacy in facilitating follower creativity.”
Through the month of February, the UTSA community is invited to join student organizations, colleges and departments at events that commemorate the African American people, places and events that have paved the way for racial equality.
The UTSA Department of English hosts the Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Lawrence Venuti. Venuti is a professor of English at Temple University.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The student organization MuTe (Music Technology) will be hosting a recital that's open to the public.
Arts Building Recital Hall (ART 2.03.02), Main Campus
The UTSA Department of English presents this year's Brackenridge Distinguished Visiting Lecturer, Lawrence Venuti. Venuti is a professor of English at Temple University.
Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
Diploma Dash is a fast, certified 5k course for runners and a scenic route around Main Campus for walkers, strollers and dogs! There are individual and team prizes. Benefits UTSA students through the UTSA Alumni Association scholarship program.
UTSA Main Campus
Enjoy music, food and socializing during this fundraising event benefiting the San Antonio Symphony League for the Youth Concert Series and the ITC for its ongoing educational mission.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
UTSA Libraries will host Robert Rico, M.P.A., Department of Criminal Justice, for his presentation "Restorative Justice: A Relational Approach to Civic Discourse." Pizza will be provided to students while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.309), Downtown Campus
Spend an evening stirring your curiosity during these monthly talks featuring some of UTSA’s most renowned faculty, and learn how the latest research in their fields applies to our daily lives. This month's speaker is Francine Romero, UTSA associate professor and associate dean of the College of Public Policy.
The Historic Guadalupe Theatre, 1301 Guadalupe St., San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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