What role does creativity play in leadership? What should you do when you feel discouraged in your creative work? And can your business also be your ministry?
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In this episode, I talk with Jenny Randle, wife, mom, business owner, entrepreneur, and author about how God created each of us to create, how to fight for our creative nature, and how she handles being multi-passionate. Whether or not you believe you’re creative, this is an episode you will not want to miss.
Jenny’s Leadership Journey:
Jenny’s first memory of leadership is when she ran for student council in the fourth grade, but didn’t vote for herself. Her parents reminded her that she needed to believe in herself enough to vote for herself. They raised her as a leader and gave her “gold nuggets of wisdom” along the way.
In 10th grade, she went on a leadership weekend, which was the first time a teacher actively poured into her life. Her senior year, her field hockey coach wanted her to be the captain even though was was “terrible.”“A lot of times in leadership, we think we have to be an expert in every area when, in reality, you have to know how to recognize the experts in the areas and bring that out in them.”Click To Tweet
She held leadership positions in high school, ministry, and now she runs her own businesses. Currently, she’s discipling her two children daily. She and her husband Matt run a digital marketing agency where she does the creative strategy and casts the vision while her husband handles the logistics. She runs a ministry called “Freedom Creatives.”
Jenny has had several mentors through the years. Dr. Webster of Spirit and Word Ministry has been an encouragement to her as a leader in ministry. Her parents are mentors to her as well: her dad as an example and her mom as she lives out being a strong woman.
She also has a friend who consistently encourages her and tells her to stop over-analyzing. And she loves how her church in New York has created space for people to use their gifts.
How Jenny Embraced her Wiring as a Leader:
Her mentor, Dr. Webster walked her through how God wired her and it was life changing to hear that affirmation. She often felt like she was “too much” and should step back, but God designed her to do what she’s doing.
How Faith has Impacted Jenny’s Leadership
Faith is the lens through which Jenny views everything. She prays over projects. The Holy Spirit is actively moving and wants to be a part of the work.“In our leadership, the Holy Spirit is always speaking and moving and wants to be invited into our process.”Click To Tweet
Jenny’s Advice for Younger Leaders:
Titles don’t define you. Be flexible in how God is moving. Our giftings build on each other.Don’t hold on so tightly to a career goal that you miss the move of God on your life.Click To Tweet
Creativity + Leadership
It’s important to realize that we’re all created to be creative. Two helpful questions to ask when you’re struggling with creativity:
- What does that look like?
- How can I fight for my God-given creative nature?
Doubt, perfectionism, a performance-mentality, and comparison can stifle our creativity. Jenny believes that as Christians, we are meant to be influencers and leaders.
Three Practical Steps to Fight for your Creativity:
- Acknowledge that you were created to be creative.
- Invite the Holy Spirit into your process. Ask God what He’s doing and if there’s an idea that He wants you to do.
- See creativity in others and ask God how you can cultivate skills in them.
Why Creativity is Important for Believers
Creativity is how we influence the world. Jenny encourages us to go into the mainstream spaces, influence the people there, and glorify God with your work.
Jenny believes that our creative calling isn’t always for what we’re producing but who we’re producing with and who we get to influence.God is positioning leaders strategically in these different spheres of influence.Click To Tweet
It’s important to know how God wired you and lead people well so people can see God.
Vulnerability and Dealing with Criticism as a Creator:
Creativity calls for vulnerability. We have the opportunity to create from pain AND from pain that we’ve processed through and seen God work through. Jenny recommends the second option, because we’re in a healthier space to deal with criticism when it comes.
When you get negative reviews or feedback as a creator and you’ve processed through the pain, you’re already secure in the outcome and you hold on to your identity. You don’t let other people define you.“If you’re letting other people’s criticism or feedback define you, you’re not gonna get anything done.Click To Tweet
Practical Ways to Practice Creativity
1. Jenny defines creativity as “making stuff” so anytime you make stuff, you’re creating. This could look like engineering, teaching, developing business strategy, cooking, or gardening. Notice where you’re already creating and expand on areas you already have a natural interest.
2. Practice creativity with your team. You get better results because you’re not limiting the space of your team. You’re trusting your team to show up and give space to the process. Champion your team and empower them to try.
3. Be silent and get outside. Silence boosts creative input by 60% so go outside without your earbuds and bring a notebook to write down ideas. God gives us creative ideas and He may give them to us to make money.
Our Calling as Believers
Jenny has both a ministry, Freedom Creatives, and a business, her digital marketing company. She believes that being in the mainstream space is a ministry.If you’re a believer, you have a ministry and it’s in the everyday minutes of your life. Are you glorifying and enjoying God?Click To Tweet
Our purpose is to glorify God so you’re free to do that in lots of ways. Believers should hold leadership positions in all companies so our culture can change.As women, specifically, in a place of leadership, your voice carries a lot of power.Click To Tweet
We cannot diminish our voice by doing doubting our value or saying something is just “your opinion.” Place value in your God-given voice. There’s a reason you are where you are.
We can change culture by stepping into the dark areas, by using our voice, and by walking confidently in the areas God is sending us.
Jenny’s Real Life
Jenny struggles with being multi-passionate because she loves to work so she must be intentional about “turning off.” She has people who hold her accountable. She also knows where she is gifted and delegates tasks to others. She also has learned to set up boundaries. Jenny understands the rhythms of when she works best and being at peace with that.
Jenny recommends filling in the white space with Jesus and holding each day loosely by asking the Holy Spirit what He wants you to focus on. She recommends asking God what He wants you to do and where to spend your time. Find out where you excel and what times of day are best for you to get work done.
Jenny’s book recommendation:
Connect with Jenny:
Jenny is a faith-based speaker, creative entrepreneur, founder of Freedom Creatives and author of “Courageous Creative“. She has a deep passion to empower people and businesses to live with impact and loves a good freestyle rap battle with her husband and kids.
Go here for a free creativity assessment to determine what’s killing your creativity.
Jenny is giving one listener a FREE copy of her book, Courageous Creative. To enter, follow both me and Jenny on Instagram, like the giveaway post, and comment on the giveaway post. For extra entries, you can tag a friend in a separate comment (each tag of a friend counts as an additional entry). Giveaway ends Sunday, April 21st. Winner will be announced Monday, April 22nd.
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Other Podcast Episodes Mentioned:
- Episode 18: Navigating Marriage and Leadership
- Episode 20: 3 Reasons Boundaries are Critical for Leadership
- Episode 33: My Favorite Tools for Goal-Setting, Planning, and Creating Habits
Other Ways to Connect with Esther & Holly and the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast:
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