(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.”
San Antonio area high school and undergraduate students who participated in UTSA’s TRiO Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and McNair Scholars programs will present their summer research projects and compete for top honors at the 8th annual symposium.
H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
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Student Union, University Career Center, 2nd floor, Main Campus
The gala brings together UTSA alumni, friends and guests to celebrate the association's 41 years of scholarships, services, programs and the 2018 Alumni Award recipients.
Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio
As part of the citywide Kidcation and the ITC's free second Sunday, kids and families will have an opportunity to interact with cowboy docents, practice their skills at roping, learn about life on the cattle drives, make their own spurs, grab a seat for cowboy story time and work on cowboy-themed hands-on crafts.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Dozens of fun and free events to welcome new and returning Roadrunners.
Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The kickoff to Roadrunner Days, the UTSA community welcomes the thousands of students who move in to their new homes as they begin their journey at UTSA.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
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