The 10 Qualities of Creative Leaders, and Why One Should Never Leave the Bridge in a Storm

An advertising legend (and perhaps the original “Mad Man”) David Ogilvy once wrote that in order to achieve something, a person should never leave when the things get tough, “Hard work, says the Scottish proverb, never killed a man. People die of boredom and disease. There is nothing like an occasional all-night push to enliven morale – provided you are part of the push. Never leave the bridge in a storm.”

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And while the hard work, responsibility and strength are some of the most important qualities needed for leadership, Ogilvy in The Unpublished David Ogilvy offers a few more insights on the features of creative leaders.

The qualifications Mad Man is looking for in leaders are these:

1. High standards of personal ethics.

2. Big people, without pettiness.

3. Guts under pressure, resilience in defeat.

4. Brilliant brains — not safe plodders.

5. A capacity for hard work and midnight oil.

6. Charisma — charm and persuasiveness.

7. A streak of unorthodoxy — creative innovators.

8. The courage to make tough decisions.

9. Inspiring enthusiasts — with trust and gusto.

10. A sense of humor.

Read more in sometimes sarcastic and ironic, sometimes touching and nostalgic, but always inspiring book The Unpublished David Ogilvy.