I’d like to share a fascinating post by Keith Sawyer in which he talks about the fact that Americans value creativity more than just about any other characteristic.
83% of Americans think that creativity is important in their job and 91% think that its even more important in their personal lives.
This strikes me as interesting because people in creative roles often say that they are regarded as slightly unreliable and prone to fluffiness (for want of a better word). They even reported that they had missed out on high level management positions precisely because they were considered to be slightly less solid and responsible.
A lot depends on how you define creativity. If you think that being creative is about being flexible, looking at problems from a range of perspectives and exploring options, then clearly being creative is a a great skill to have at work and at play. Most of the books I read about creativity stress the fact that what makes the difference in most creative endeavours is discipline, so I would argue that being creative is easily as useful as having good management skills.
And finally, neither of these attributes are going to make you a success in your work or personal life unless you have warmth and compassion for your fellow human beings.