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Leading With Ingenuity

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Ingenious people solve problems creatively by using the resources available to them. As a result, people admire a leader’s seemingly magical ability to think outside the box. A leader that can come up with creative solutions to pressing problems can win the trust of others, especially if those solutions are well presented and executed.

Ingenuity in Action
Swiss born George de Mestral took his dog for a walk one day. When the dog came back, he had burrs matted in his fur. Mestral had burrs on his pants. Curious as to why burrs stick, Mestral examined the burrs and his pants and noticed that the burrs acted as hooks to hook on to the loops of thread on his pants. He walked away from the experience with a new idea for a fastener which he developed.

Thus, Velcro was invented. Mestral’s curiosity to learn why burrs stick to pants and fur led him to discover the power of hooks and loops as a fastener. His discovery gave him the knowledge to apply the concept to develop a fastening fabric. Mestral was able to solve a problem (the need of fastening) creatively by using his knowledge.

Ingenuity Formula
Believe it or not, there’s actually a super-effective formula that leaders use to enhance their ingenuity: P + RR = I P stands for “Problem” RR stands for “Combination of Multiple Resources” and I stands for “Ingenuity”.

For example, we start with the problem of needing a commercially sustainable light bulb. Thomas Edison combined multiple resources together to come up with the first commercially sustainable light bulb. Therefore, Thomas Edison was Ingenious.

In college, the problem was that we didn’t have a formal and functioning student government to represent the students. We pooled the resources and knowledge of current faculty, staff, and students. We used that knowledge and applied principles of other already established student governments to come up with a creative solution for student government on campus. We solved a problem by combining multiple resources to create something original. That’s ingenuity.

Super Ingenuity Building Activity: There’s no point in reinventing the wheel when it comes to ingenuity. The formula’s already done the work for you. Answer the following questions about ingenuity:

  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your relationships. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your relationships?
  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your career. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your career?
  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your financial situation. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your financial situation?
  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your health. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your health?
  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your education. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your education?
  • Identify a stumbling block or problem that’s preventing you from moving forward towards your vision and purpose in your spirituality. If you could instantly get what you want, what would it look like, how would it feel, and how would you know you’ve achieved it? What resources could you read, watch, listen to, or use to improve your spirituality?

 

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