Remove these 20 Creativity Killers

Have you ever been on a zoom call where someone shut down an idea before it barely got out?
Have you ever opened yourself up to a new idea, a creative idea only to have it submerged by a peer or team member?

Sadly, it happens weekly if not daily. Soon, people became silent about improving or innovating. The status quo becomes the status norm. Take a look at the following list of phrases. They almost guarantee to kill and destroy creative thinking:

  • I’m not a creative person.

  • We follow the rules.

  • We’ve always done it this way.

  • Let’s not be different.

  • Don’t be foolish.

  • Be serious.

  • Let’s get practical.

  • That’s not logical.

  • It’s never been done.

  • It can’t be done.

  • It’s too expensive.

  • Not in the budget.

  • It’s too much work.

  • We don’t have the time.

  • Yes, but…

  • What if we mess up?

  • Let’s put that on hold.

  • Let’s think about it.

  • Perhaps next year.

  • Failure is final.

You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper. It may be time to stop working harder at the same old thing.

Now may be the perfect time to call a “creative session” where you can encourage creativity around new and better ideas. With the right people in the room, three things are bound to happen:

  • Ideas will get raised to higher levels

  • Energy and synergy will lift ideas higher

  • New and improved ways will burst on the scene and create positive morale

Let’s go after some new ways of thinking about challenges. To stay ahead, we must be leaders on the lookout for creative ideas.

Here’s to your creative thinking!


As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.