When you read a list of what are typical characteristics of a creative person, you sometimes have to wonder if it’s a complement or not. It’s a attribute I certain admire now, but ha – not so much when I was growing up. And certainly not in some of the more … er, conservative … places I’ve worked in the past.
Here’s a list, first published in The Creative Mystique: How to Manage It, Nurture It, and Make It Pay (New York: Wiley, 1985) by John M. Keil.
1. Bright but not necessarily brilliant. Often quoted: IQ>120. However, creativity is not directly related to extraordinarily high intelligence.
2. Good at generating a high degree of different ideas in a short period of time.
3. Have a positive image of themselves. They like who they are. In fact, they often have a large ego.
4. Sensitive to the world around them and the feelings of others.
5. Motivated by challenging problems.
6. Able to withhold the decision on a problem until sufficient facts have been collected. (Hmm, I’ll have to use this one in the future when sometimes tells me to stop procrastinating.)
7. Value their independence and do not have strong needs for group approval.
8. Lead a rich, almost bizarre, fantasy life. (Indeed!)
9. Flexible as opposed to rigid or dogmatic. (Until I get told I’m too rigid in my flexibility.)
10. More concerned with the meanings and implications of a problem than with small details.
Any other characteristic you’d add?