What is Ingenuity in leadership?

Learn about Ingenuity with Chris Evans

Case Breakdown: Movie Captain America

The scene that you just saw shows how Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) is being trained to become a soldier. He does not have the perfect built as that of a soldier and he is bullied by many. All cadets are being trained and they are going through many tasks. The third task is to take the flag off the pole and the trainer tells them that no-one has got that flag in 17 years. While many are climbing the pole, Steve Rogers unhooks the flag pole from below. He is able to give that flag to the commander without much effort.

What is Ingenuity?

Ability to respond to unexpected and uncertain situations with imagination, adaptability, creativity and flexibility is Ingenuity. Working without any script and being okay with it. This attitude help devising new approaches to problems which have been done in one way.

Similar to the scene that we just saw, it shows how everyone thought about just climbing up the pole to get the flag and like the commander mentioned, no one was able to get the flag for 17 years. It is quite apparent, people are not thinking in a different way. Steve Rogers displays the trait of ingenuity when he goes off-script and tries a new way to get the flag off the pole.

Ingenuity also involves using the intuitive side of the brain. Remember, this intuitive side might not offer logical solutions. But, it offers solutions that are driven from creativity. Hence, many of us shut this side as they think it is not the most logical.

Leaders and Ingenuity:

One of the most important traits leaders need to possess is the trait of ingenuity. Leaders need to have a vision that is characterized by serving others. To accomplish that, they need to have inner freedom to take risks and evolve. Innovate and find new approaches to do an age-old thing in a new manner. Also, as a leader, one needs to make space for your subordinates to display ingenuity.

A leader might face challenges in tapping into their trait of ingenuity if they are too complacent. If they have a fear of taking a risk, or compliant to social conditioning or being a slave to money, power or prejudice. All these fears would keep the individual on a hamster wheel and not let them achieve their highest potential.

It has become imperative for leaders to let these fear go and think out of the box to live freely and use the trait of ingenuity positively.

Written by: Ms. Gitika Chandra

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