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How would you characterize your approach to growing your business?

SmartPulseSmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How would you characterize your approach to growing your business?

  • I lean toward "structured" and focus on pragmatic planning and execution: 56%
  • I lean toward "creative" and always generate new, interesting ideas: 44% 

Balancing creativity with structure. It’s a pretty even split between structure and creativity, with the edge falling more toward structure for how to grow your business. Clearly, both sides are important. When you can find the balance between the two, you have the opportunity to build something unique, special, and fundamentally sound. Err too much toward one or the other and you either miss out on new ideas or you let your business stagnate. If you personally fall on one end of the spectrum, consider surrounding yourself with others who skew the other way so you have a good balance between creativity and structure for your organization.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."