Creativity is an act of leadership

Seth Godin
2 min readDec 29, 2020

(not management)

Where will you take us?

Leadership is voluntary. It’s voluntary to lead and it’s voluntary to follow.

When you have power and authority, it’s tempting to manage instead. Managers get what they got yesterday, but faster and cheaper. Managers use authority to enforce behavior.

But leadership involves acting as if. Leaders paint a picture of the future and encourage us to go there with them.

Which is what anyone who makes change through creative work is doing.

You can’t be sure it’s going to work.

You can’t command us to follow.

And you’re here to make a change happen.

This creative work you’re engaging in, dancing on the edge of what is possible, is a generous act of leadership.

See the world as it is. Figure out who you are here to serve. And then show up to do work that matters, by making things better.

For too long, we’ve been confused about the true nature of leadership. It’s not about authority at all. It’s the brave work of inventing the future.

[This is part of a series of posts about The Practice and our opportunity to do work that makes a difference. When have you cared enough to show up and learn something? For more about The Creative’s Workshop and other Akimbo communities, visit — now an independent B corp.]

We’re about to conclude a tough year, for many people, the toughest year in memory. I’m looking forward to a fresh start, a 2021 filled with possibility. What’s your contribution to the future going to look like? Let us know in the comments.



Seth Godin

Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...