The Creative Mind

Trouble, trouble, trouble

“Studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota have found that teachers smile at children with high IQs and frown upon those with creative minds.”

“Intelligent but uncreative students accept conformity, never rebel, and complete their assignments with dispatch and to perfection.”

“The creative child, on the other hand, is manipulative, imaginative, and intuitive.”


Who does this sound like?

“He was sometimes curt, insensitive, and inconsiderate. He was too given to extravagant overstatement. His manner was dictatorial and often insulting. He lacked patience and tolerance. He was often strident and scornful, and because this had alienated first-rate men, he was driven to seek the company of others, who, as she saw it, could do him no good and might bring harm.”

If your answer is Steve Jobs (or a co-worker in your past), you’re probably not alone, but that quote was from Clementine, the wife of Winston Churchill.

And the quotes at the beginning of this post are also part of the book on Churchill, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory.

One of the unfortunate consequences of radio’s consolidation has been the loss of super creative minds. As Taylor Swift sings, the most creative people in our business were — and still are — trouble, trouble, trouble.

They miss deadlines and meetings, they work at odd hours, they disdain attempts to keep them inside your management box, and they don’t even know your rules, but even if they did, they would break them.

I always tell managers, when they complain about employees like this, ‘Why do you think they pay you? To take care of the rule-followers?’

Your staff may be full of high IQ performers. Nothing wrong with smart people.

But there is a distinct difference between IQ and Creativity.

Maybe it’s time for more of the latter and fewer of the former, especially if they’ve used their high IQ to get MBAs in Finance and LBOs.