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Innovating Your Rise: Lessons from Nicole Jones' Journey at Creative Mornings

“You wanna fly, you got to give up the stuff that weighs you down." Toni Morrison

Recently, I had the privilege of attending a Creative Mornings experience with the awe-inspiring Nicole Jones, and she shared pearls of wisdom from her life journey that offers many wise lessons that are applicable to innovative leadership. Therefore, this week we’ll delve into the essence of innovation and the vital role it can play in our personal and professional transformation.

Nicole Jones' Journey:

Nicole's journey from New York to Richmond, culminating in her roles as the Deputy Director at Art180 and a City Councilperson, is a testament to strength and resilience. Her story at Creative Mornings is an inspiring blueprint for anyone looking to navigate new paths and transitions.

Three Key Lessons from Nicole on How to Rise:

  1. Letting Go and Trusting the Process: To innovate and rise, one must learn the art of release. Letting go of preconceived notions and embracing the unknown is crucial.

  2. Conscious Decision-Making: Every step towards innovation requires deliberate choices. It's about knowing when to rest and when to rise, striking a balance between action and reflection.

  3. Embracing Creativity and Innovation: Nicole emphasized that creativity isn't just an act but a way of being. It's the key to unlocking our full potential and navigating non-linear paths with grace.

Three Questions to Help You Rise:

  1. What's Your 'Rise' Mentality? Reflect on what it takes for you to ascend in your personal and professional life.

  2. Rediscovering Your Path: How do you find your way back when you're lost? What does your journey of rediscovery look like?

  3. From Linear to Non-Linear: How are you adapting to life's unpredictable twists and turns? How does creativity play a role in this?


Interactive Exercises for Leaders on the Rise:

  1. Workshop on 'Doing the Work': Leaders can engage in exercises focusing on internal work – identifying areas needing attention and developing strategies to address them.

  2. Creativity and Innovation Sessions: Use brainstorming sessions to explore how creativity can help problem-solve and lead teams through change.

  3. Mindfulness and Awareness Practices: Incorporate mindfulness exercises to enhance awareness, a critical component in making conscious decisions and embracing change.

Nicole's story is a powerful reminder that our journey to innovation and rising above challenges is paved with creativity, conscious choices, and a willingness to embrace non-traditional paths. As leaders, let's take these lessons and questions to heart, integrating them into our daily practice. Remember, innovation is not just about new ideas; it's about new perspectives and new ways of being.

Let's keep rising and innovating together!


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