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Creative Leadership in Action:
Aaron Burgess, Director of Content
PayPal’s User Experience Design (UED) Group

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Great ideas can be fleeting, fragile things at first. They need a protector to grow and thrive — and sometimes even appear at all.

That’s you, Creative Executive.

“Most of us have tons of great ideas throughout the day, but without a sounding board or platform, we may shrug off these ideas as whimsy,” says Aaron Burgess, director of content for the User Experience Design Group — and a protector of ideas — at PayPal.

Based in Austin, Texas, Burgess leads a couple dozen content designers and video producers and works with colleagues across six states and four continents. While he admits that he’s never really off the clock, he also points out that his “work rarely feels like work,” and that his life beyond PayPal includes skateboarding (“I think my wife and my knees would prefer I stuck to a safer form of exercise”), meditating, going for runs to the sounds of Minor Threat and Slayer and starting to make stuff again. He’ll tell us more about that in this Creative Leadership in Action interview, where he also delves into building culture, nurturing ideas and creativity and forgiving yourself. Read more…

What’s Your Impact?

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Your leadership can make all the difference in you and your team’s experience of work, resiliency through tough times, and how a mission and vision can be actualized in the day-to-day.

Here are some things to think about…

– The things you know about leading powerfully
– Things that get in the way of you being effective
– How to persuade and share your ideas with others

You have the opportunity to share your leadership gifts with the worlds you encounter. Remember that gift has great power.  Use it for good.

Inspire, Move, Transform: Top Resources for Honing Your Pitch

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Last month I had the amazing opportunity to attend a 5-day intensive training that helped participants shape their own narrative and hone their presenting skills. It was transformational (more on that to come), but it also got me thinking about the influential leaders out there who help creative leaders become better speakers. Read more…

10 Mistakes That Sink Creative Executives

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Every Creative Executive’s path to success looks different. But the mistakes that knock us off course are universal, and easy to get caught in. Do these sound familiar? Read more…

What Do Great Creative Leaders Know?

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Being a Creative Executive can get pretty intense. You’re rallying others, and reaching for your best, every day in the quest to make something great. You need a support structure, and we think it’s these five pieces of knowledge. Read more…

Are You Taking Enough Risks?

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We’ve officially entered Fall.

What a great opportunity to check in with ourselves and look at the remaining quarter ahead. Where are we challenged?  Where are we too comfortable?  What do we need to do to shift and change in order to accomplish the goals and vision we set out for ourselves this year as a company and team?

When we stay safe in our thinking and actions, we don’t take risks.  When we don’t take risks, we can’t evolve. Read more…

The Gift of Risk

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When was the last time risk got your ass in gear?

One of my clients sent me a recap a few weeks back…

I have a renewed sense of optimism for the company. We have much to be proud of and a stellar collection of talented people all looking to make big things happen. The very act of committing ourselves to something “risky” and somewhat “unknown” has brought out a renewed sense of purpose across the board and especially amongst the partner group.

This is what risk can do for us, whether as individuals or organizations. It create cohesion and motivation in ways that status quo just can’t. Read more…

Bold Decisions, Creative Risks, and General Badassery:
The Creative Executive Team Selects Some of Our Favorite Movers and Shakers

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This month we were inspired by our interview with Jene Park of Thomas Wylde. She’s an all around inspiration when it comes to charting your own path as a creative entrepreneur. Inspired by her jump from a full-time role at BCBG to start her own line of clothing, it got us thinking about other creative risk takers we admire.

So for our latest list from The Creative Executive, we’ve pulled from industries spanning from design, to food, to journalism. In fact we even kick off the list from the biggest players in the hospitality industry.

So read up and be inspired to take your own creative risks! Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Jene Park, Thomas Wylde COO
Part Two

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Thomas Wylde, a luxury lifestyle brand based in L.A., creates some seriously glamorous clothes and accessories.

And as COO of the company, Jene Park helps create the environment where these beautiful things can come to life. Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Jene Park, Thomas Wylde COO
Part One

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We’re just going to say it: Fashion executive Jene Park is a badass.

Jene, a native of Korea, wasn’t born into success. But she was born into a tradition of determination. She’s the daughter of a single mom who worked constantly — as in having only six days off a year.  “She sacrificed her life to raising her four children,” Jene says.

Jene came to the U.S. at age 29 and enrolled at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in L.A. She was older than most of the other students, didn’t speak English and had no background in design or art. But she excelled, earning a scholarship to study in Paris. Read more…

Happy Labor Day!

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May you celebrate Labor Day today by acknowledging and toasting your achievements over the last year.  After all, the holiday is  “a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

We salute you.  Happy Labor Day!

Our Top SXSW Panel Picks for Creative Leaders

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This month SXSW opened up it’s 2015 Panel Picker with voting open from August 11th – September 5th. There are 4,512 entries, and we have no doubt that they are all filled with some amazing ideas from some very cool and talented folks.

But at the Creative Executive we’re laser-focused on cultivating creative leadership, and as such we’ve pulled out a few panels that we’re particularly excited about. (And you know we won’t be shy with a shameless plug for our own!)

With that, here is an overview of some of the best panels for Creative Executives looking to be inspired Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Alison Williams,
Founder of Raconteur + The Storyteller of Storytellers

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Alison Williams has good news for you:

The world will not end if you mess something up.

“I’ve taken so many wrong turns that the paradigm of failure is no longer relevant to me,” says the founder of Raconteur . “It’s just one more interesting experiment. ”

She continues, “After many of these false apocalypses, at some point you realize the world is not going to end, and that the feeling that you’re about to fall off a cliff is just you stepping out of your comfort zone and learning.” Read more…

Ones To Watch

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ones to watch

Our work at the Creative Executive is to track down some of the best and brightest minds in creativity and leadership. As part of our summer roundup, we’ve also made a list of some individuals we love – trailblazers we are following that make us think, act, and innovate.

Love our picks? Check out our custom curated Twitter List with over 60 names and publications we recommend! Read more…

Summer Reading List

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Reading List Books

Summertime reminds me of the beach, road trips and reading.

Recently, I watched The Truth About Creativity on en*theos (an interesting online learning platform). At the end of each interview, David Burkus asked each author what they were reading. Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Josh Jones-Dilworth,
Early Stage Technology Marketer

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JoshJonesDilworth

We tell Creative Executives all the time to think about what kind of legacy they want to leave.

Josh Jones-Dilworth says that when he got clear on that question, it changed everything. Read more…

How to Help Your Team Thrive

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Welcome to June!

This past month we’ve focused on managing your people. Whether you are a solopreneur working with contract teams or an executive managing a large team of people internally, these principles apply although the context might shift. Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Christine Hassler, Millennial Expert
Part Two – Millennials At Work

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Christine Hassler

You can’t do business as usual with Millennials.

Your Gen Y employees will zone out when you start talking about “paying dues.” And Millennial customers won’t flock to you just because you have a Twitter account.

So what works instead? Christine Hassler knows what makes this generation thrive in their jobs and what marketing messages they’ll actually pay attention to. Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Christine Hassler, Millennial Expert
Part One – Millennials Are An “Incredible Generation”

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Christine Hassler

Lazy.
Entitled.
Lousy communicators.

Millennials — aka Gen Y — get trash-talked a lot, but Christine Hassler is spreading the word on how this misunderstood generation is actually pretty awesome. Read more…

Why You Need an Army of Entrepreneurs

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Let’s expand the definition of “entrepreneur.”

Here’s what the dictionary says: a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”

But you don’t have to own a business to embody entrepreneurship. It helps Read more…

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