Creative comparisons in leadership

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Kathie Rotz PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

According to, the right hemisphere of the brain coordinates the left side of the body and performs tasks that have to do with creativity and the arts.

I must not have much in the right side of my brain.

I have never considered myself a creative person. For example, I am not good at matching my outfits. In high school, I was voted, “Most Likely Not to Match.”

I am not good at decorating a room. All colors are in the rainbow, so in my mind, they must all match.

I am not good at playing an instrument without reading sheet music. Playing by ear is a gift that I was not given.

I am not good at creating a meal without following a recipe. Why would I want to play around to try out a new idea and take the chance of ruining dinner and wasting food?

I am not good at dancing. There is no rhythm or coordination in my moves.

However, I am good at thinking differently to find solutions. I am good at challenging my habits so that I am more efficient and empowered. I am good at figuring out how technology was programmed so that I can use it efficiently. I am good at asking questions that have not been thought of before. I am good at creating solutions based on my customer’s needs.

The first list I created includes items that I feel deficient in. My talents in these areas do not compare to what others can do, and I am envious.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Why do I compare myself to others? When I envy other’s talents, I am stealing the joy of their beauty and their success. I am not appreciating their talents. I am not learning from them.

When I was younger, I took piano lessons for 11 years. I am not a natural musician who can hear something and quickly repeat it perfectly on an instrument. I am a trained musician. I like to call myself a mathematical musician. I have learned the theory and techniques, found the patterns and practiced hours to perfect this hobby.

Gifted musicians also practice many hours to perfect their trade. When I put in the same amount of time and focus as the experts, then I can achieve similar outcomes. If I choose to compare myself to others, then I better be comparing the amount of work I put into the task and not just the end results.

Maybe I am not creative because I have not invested time to learn and grow.

In Simon Sinek’s book, “The Infinite Game,” the author calls the people who we compare ourselves against as “worthy rivals.” These are people who have “something in them that reveals to us our weaknesses and pushes us to constantly improve.” We need these people to challenge our creativity and drive.

The next time you compare yourself with someone else, consider them a blessing. Consider them a worthy rival that is challenging you to step up to your greater potential.

As I review my list of uncreative talents and think differently about these arts, I can see that I am good at standing out in a crowd. I am good at creating lively room décor. I am good at reading sheet music to play the piano. I am good at following instructions to make delicious meals and desserts. I am good at appreciating other’s dance moves.

Find value in other experts, appreciate their success, and use your talents to find your creativeness.

Kathie Rotz is a leadership consultant and John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach with Unity Consulting in Dubuque.

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