Are You A Consumer, Contributor, or a Creator?
April 30, 2019
Author of The UPwards Leader
TopicsCharacter-based Leadership, consumer, Contributor, Creator, Leadership, Leadership Development
During a seminar on human relationships I attended, the speaker pointed out that there were four different types of relationships, committed, codependent, casual and the most destructive, a consumer-based relationship.
That’s where one party consumes the attention, service or provisions of the other with little to nothing in return.
These types of behaviors have a similar trend in social media. There seems to be three types of people online – those that consume, those that contribute, and those that create. Creators make content to enjoy online. Contributors might do so here and there, but typically respond in comments to what’s made. Consumers just look, like, and scroll, leaving no value behind, just gobbling up and moving on.
As leaders, perhaps we should be mindful of what type of leadership each of us possess? Are we Consumers, driven by our impulses? Or Contributors with reliable produce? Or Creators that inspire, give vision and make things happen?
That’s where a leader is in it for themselves. Power. Pride. Proving they’re the best, the smartest in the room, the most deserving. They consume others by tearing them down to elevate themselves. They create disruption then come in to save the day. They consume all the training and leave their people to learn on their own accord. Consumer leadership thrives on “need to know,” holding all the information for them to use over others. This type of leadership eventually loses talent that seeks support somewhere else.
This is the manager who does their job faithfully day in and out. They may come up with a good idea or take on a project here or there. They are valuable and give some input to the organization. But they don’t drive for improvement, disruption or innovation. Contributors prefer the status quo and not making waves that call attention to themselves. They like the position, but don’t make others better around them by giving and serving in their role.
These leaders develop on all levels. They create leaders, vision and innovation. They develop their people and create high performing teams by giving resources needed for training. They make opportunity for others by giving others a platform to showcase their talents. Creator leaders take a vision and expand it, getting people to jump aboard and run with it. They create a culture that allows their people to thrive and perpetuate it organically, without prodding. They would rather others get first in line while they “eat last,” to ensure their people grow and develop.
A team full of consumers will soon drain everything from an organization – morale, resources and momentum. But creator leaders give and pour more into the team than they take. They seek out the resources for others to likewise create or contribute to.
Change your thinking on how your leadership manifests. Be a creator and only consume what is absolutely necessary.