The Latest

What's on our mind.

Mid-Career Check-in: How to Figure Out Your Next Steps

Posted on

Here are some ways to explore what’s next.

Check out this article on writing your next act for more ideas.

Look Inside
It’s time for a bit of soul searching:

  • Why are you stuck/bored/unsatisfied/unengaged?
  • Can you narrow the cause of your feelings to one person you work with?
  • Have you been at your company too long?
  • Are you creatively and strategically stifled?
  • Do you want to stay where you are or are you ready for a new adventure?

Talk to the People Who Know You Best
Humans are very consistent. Our strengths and weaknesses show up in all facets of our lives.  Both will be evident to those around you, including peers, friends, family, boss, and direct reports. Ask others what you do well (what are you known for), where they can depend on you, and where they can’t. You’ll get a lot of intel that will inform how you engage with your work and those around you.

Understand Your Assets and Challenges
Assessments are a tool to prime your thinking. You may not agree with all of your results. But focusing on what you do resonate with will help you plot your next steps. Assessments can also give you great information you can share with others when you are networking for opportunities inside or outside of your organization.

You can take these assessments on your own (without a facilitator):

Network Inside Your Company
Do you like your company but want to find some other way to contribute? Do your interests help further the goals of the organization? If so, how can you create a new opportunity for yourself? Talking to people inside the organization can help you understand its business needs as well as other areas where you could potentially fit in. Sometimes working with another division can help you determine “Yes, this is great!” or  “No, I have no interest” before you take a bigger leap.

Network Outside the Company
Look through your LinkedIn contacts and see who is doing work that interests to you. Then start connecting with those people. Don’t forget to prepare your three to five key questions before any meetings or calls. It’s respectful to others’ time and gets you more in the strategic mindset to get all the answers you need.

Without reflection, all the steps above become busy work instead of meaningful work. When we don’t reflect, we can float without intention — and wake up five years later realizing we wasted precious time. Reflection requires attention and time, but the benefits are priceless. It can be as simple as a 15-minute walk twice a week without your phone and just your thoughts. Or it might be a coffee-shop date with yourself on Tuesday mornings before work.

For most of us, our careers last 40-plus years and span many chapters. You have the power to create your own narrative. You just need some time, focus, and motivation to bring it all together and determine your next steps.

Want some help? You know where to find us!

6 Questions To Help You Troubleshoot Team Issues

Posted on

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.  Read more…

Why Career Pathing for Your Staff Will Make Your Life Easier

Posted on

What is Career Pathing? Whether you call it career design, career mapping, role planning, or professional development, Career Pathing is a way to map out how your reports can gain the skills, experience, and expertise to grow toward a particular role, responsibility, or outcome.

Read more…

Career Pathing for Individuals

Posted on

Are you unclear about the direction of your career and current job role — and do you expect your boss to figure that out for you?

If so, I have a different perspective to share. Let me show you how to take your future into your own hands through Career Pathing. Read more…

Is It Time to Hire a Director of Culture?

Posted on

The job title “director of culture” is relatively new within the past five or so years. But I’m seeing more and more smaller to mid-size, entrepreneurial companies creating this role within their organizations.

As we discussed last month , culture – the process of how work gets done – is happening all the time. Read more…

Our South by Southwest Recommendations

Posted on

Every spring, the South by Southwest Conference and Festivals fill our home city of Austin, Texas, with big ideas – not to mention beer and barbecue.

With scores of sessions on an array of topics, the SXSW schedule can be kind of overwhelming. So we put together a list of recommendations to make your SXSW planning easier. Read more…

4 Questions to Grow a Dynamic Culture

Posted on

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.  Read more…

10 Things to Think About Before You Get Work-Married

Posted on

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. Read more…

Hacks to Help You Work Life Better in 2017

Posted on


The hangover of transitioning back into work is slowly drifting away, and I hope this finds you well and excited about what you are working on. If not, here are some tips and tools to manage your energy today and all year long. Read more…

Why You Should Time Travel

Posted on



A milestone birthday mixed with a longer work engagement left me needing some introspection and reflection. As a coach, I often guide people in focusing on where they want to be in the future. But these last few months I’ve taken a new approach – looking at my past to get clear on the now.  Read more…

What do curiosity and truth have to do with money?

Posted on

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, Read more…

SXSW 2016: Sessions for The Creative Executive

Posted on

Overwhelmed by the agenda at this year’s SXSW? Since we’re all about cultivating creative leadership at The Creative Executive, we’ll help you narrow it down.

Read more…

Is your new boss messing with your mojo?

Posted on


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.

Read more…

What’s Your Superpower?

Posted on

What do you love? What makes you smile?  What interests you?  What are you good at? Your superpower lies at the intersection of the answer to these questions.

The Creative Exec_What's Your Superpower
Read more…

Free New Year’s Giveaways!

Posted on

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!  Read more…

Did You Build This Ship to Wreck?

Posted on

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. Read more…

What I Learned From Our C/E Immersion Weekend

Posted on

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.

Read more…

A Creative Comeback After Cancer

Posted on

Nick Ross Photo

Six years in remission from having cancer in my mid-twenties, I was bellied up to a downtown Los Angeles bar, lamenting the fickle and unforgiving industry I chose. It was January of 2014, and I was a cliche – a down-on-his-luck actor claiming creative relevance in LA with little more than a regional insurance commercial and a couple viral videos to my credit. And I was floating further and further away from the safe, sandy, care-free beaches of my twenties and into the deep sea of expectation that is life in your thirties. Do I hang it all up and shift focus away from the unstable pursuit of creativity or do I keep showing up to auditions with my head held high? Read more…

Grit in the Face of Adversity

Posted on

Franklin Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney…history is full of stories of wildly successful people who have overcome incredible odds. This is not to say that FDR succeeded because he contracted polio at 39; FDR succeeded despite his disease. Surviving and thriving after a truly time-stopping, universe-questioning trauma often comes down to grit. We all have trauma and tragedy. Grit is what takes us from merely white-knuckling and surviving the pain to actually thriving.

What is grit? Read more…

What Really Makes You Valuable

Posted on

Last week I had the honor of opening the Worldwide Partners’ North America Annual Meeting with a talk about The Humanity of Creativity.

Much of the talk centers around the four pillars of human relationships within your business that either motivates or hampers the way to creating great work and getting great results – Self, Clients, Talent, and Partnerships.

We also heard from Read more…

I want more.

Your dose of inspiration + insights + tools to Work Life Better.



How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions via hubspot CarlyStec