All posts by Jen Spencer

How to Scale Management and Leadership in Your Company

We just finished a fun project with a client creating a Management and Leadership Style Guide.

This is a small business that’s making its way to midsize. They have very clear vision, revenue, creative, talent, and financial goals.

Like many other businesses that are working to scale, they use a younger, less-experienced workforce. Their talent is straight out of school or has just a few years of experience. Most have never been managers. The partners of this company wanted to guide the development of their new managers in a way that’s meaningful both to them and to the staff they oversee.

We interviewed partners and senior management to understand what was important to the company and how they want new managers to lead.  We then used what we had learned to write the style guide, which was given to all new and existing managers.

This is what the CEO had to say about the experience of creating the style guide and the impact it has had on the company:

Our business is growing rapidly, and culture is at the core of what we’re all about. How to keep that culture while bringing in new people is a question that keeps us up at night. We realized this year that much of how we manage and engage with our people and our work was not scalable.

We worked with The Creative Executive to formalize our “rules of engagement” – our Work Philosophy – so that no matter how we grow or where we work everyone knows what’s expected of them.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. And I’m getting a bit more shut-eye. 

If your business could benefit from its own Management and Leadership Style Guide, here are some key areas to include:

High Level:

  • Vision of the future (for business)
  • Values
  • Culture priorities
  • Employee personas
  • Employee responsibilities
  • Results created when all of the above areas are optimized

Day-to-Day Tactics:

  • How to manage
  • How to onboard
  • How to develop

Hiring an outside consultant to do this work can be beyond helpful. We can help you see how your goals, best practices, and tactics all tie together and then incorporate them all into one document for your managers.

Interested in a Management + Leadership Style Guide for your company?  We’d love to chat.

Our Summer Reading/Listening/Watching Spectacular

In the midst of all the jet-setting, road-tripping, and beach-going this summer, we hope you also manage to unplug, recharge, and refill your ‘me’ tank. We put together a list of our favorite podcasts, videos, and must-read articles, our most popular Creative-Executive content, and some of the books we’re planning to tackle this season. 

Bookmark this list for your next poolside break! Continue reading

6 Questions To Help You Troubleshoot Team Issues

With the fast pace and client-centric focus in creative environments, it can be hard to pause for a second to check in on how your team is working. Before you realize it, dynamics take root that can damage your productivity and your entire work culture.

When you know that something needs to change on your team, but you can’t quite pinpoint the problem, ask yourself these questions to help identify your issues and set a course of action.  Continue reading

4 Questions to Grow a Dynamic Culture

When was the last time you wanted to stay in a job where you weren’t being challenged or using your talents? Where you knew exactly what to expect every day? Where there were no surprises and you knew you would have the same role in five or 10 years that you have today?

That might work for some people. But it doesn’t work for Creative Executives.  Continue reading

10 Things to Think About Before You Get Work-Married

I was recently asked for insights on what people should think about before becoming business partners.

Partnership is marriage. Period. When it’s great, it’s great, and when it’s challenging…you have to dig in. Partnership is being legally entwined with someone else (or multiple people), for better or worse. Continue reading

What do curiosity and truth have to do with money?

As it turns out, everything. I recently sat down with Jasmine Holan of Veriditas Money Management to chat about her philosophies around wealth and the creative professional.

Jasmine Holan, Veriditas Money Management for The Creative Executive

My husband and I found out about Jasmine and sought her out as a way to help us save for having a baby. If you’re self-employed, two months off with baby = need for savings! While Jasmine is not a financial planner or CPA, she anchors everything she does in numbers. Within the first six months of working with her, Continue reading

Is your new boss messing with your mojo?

Hello!

I’ve had several clients this past year that have had new bosses enter the picture – sometimes at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. One even had this happen within just weeks of joining a new company!

A new leader can bring about excitement, fear, and a whole lot of uncertainty.

For some, uncertainty is invigorating and for others, it’s a fear trigger.
We want to make sure that fear around uncertainty doesn’t get in the way of you and your potential.

Continue reading

Free New Year’s Giveaways!

Did we get your attention?

We believe that great Creative Executives are fantastic leaders and even better learners. Get a leg-up at the beginning of the year and discover some new things about yourself with some of our favorite free tools.

May these resources keep you inspired, aware, and on a productive, creative path.
Enjoy!  Continue reading

Did You Build This Ship to Wreck?

Florence and the Machine inspired our post this month. For us, this song encapsulates what the New Year symbolizes – a time to plan, set intentions, chart a course, and set sail! Moreover, like any effort that requires planning and forethought, you don’t want to sabotage the delicate balance by taking on too much or failing to map your journey. Here are simple things you can do this month to keep your ship sailing in smooth waters all year long.

The Creative Executive. Stay connected to your vision in 2016. Continue reading

What I Learned From Our C/E Immersion Weekend

As I was wrapping up our Creative Executive Immersion experience, I found myself at a loss for words. I was having a really hard time articulating my thoughts to the group because I was so blown away by their courage.

In the coaching world, the word courage gets thrown around like Snickers on Halloween, so it can often sound trite or superficial. But talking about courage and actually experiencing it are two very different things. During the Immersion weekend, I was witness to the depth and meaning of the word.

Continue reading


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