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:
- Vision of the future (for business)
- Culture priorities
- Employee personas
- Employee responsibilities
- Results created when all of the above areas are optimized
- 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.
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…
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…
Leadership can make or break creative teams. It can make all the difference in how you and your team experience the day-to-day, weather tough times, and succeed in actualizing your mission and vision. There’s vulnerability, inherent chaos, and unchartered waters in pushing creative boundaries and it takes a nuanced leader to manage well. While there are many great articles about leadership, I’ve condensed it into what I think are the top four facets to effectively managing creative teams. Read more…
What gets you from A to B isn’t what gets you from B to C. I was talking to a few clients last month about elevating their game. At first, it sounds like a nice “cheerleader” phrase, but Read more…
Think back on your career. What are the experiences that brought on the most personal growth, or are most fulfilling to look back upon? I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Read more…
I want you to remember the last time you felt really creative.
Perhaps it was… Read more…
“Inspiration” isn’t some nice-to-have bonus at your office.
It’s essential to doing the kind of work you want to do. We’d place it up there with electricity and good coffee.
As a Creative Executive, you can’t put off inspiration until after all the “real work” is done. (Tweet+Share) (And when does that ever happen anyway?)
It has to be at the top of your mind. Every. Single. Day. Inspiration has to suffuse your leadership and the work culture you put into motion. (Tweet+Share)
Inspiration can take all kind of forms: Read more…
The answer isn’t always to work harder.
In fact, as creatives, hard work gets in our way sometimes.
Think about where and when you and your team have had the best ideas. Read more…
Happiness isn’t everything. Especially in how you lead.
Is it important to help build happiness? Yes. Is it the main thing that matters? No.
Your No. 1 job is to engage your people. Trying to make them happy and engaging them are two very different things.
We don’t always have perfect contentment, ease and satisfaction at work. And, really, we shouldn’t: Read more…
We like to talk a lot about following our passions. What we mention a lot less, though, is that passion can mean suffering.
I was recently watching Todd Henry’s talk “Be Creative Under Pressure” from the 3% Conference. The whole video is worth a watch, but one part especially stuck with me: He talks about the Latin root for the word passion: to suffer or to endure.
Think about people, things and ideas you’ve been passionate about in the last few years. Now, can you think of the suffering that accompanied those passions? Read more…
Sometimes we think we have to do a lot or change a lot to get where we want to go. But lately a different approach has made a big impact for both me and my clients. The best part? It doesn’t involve looking outside of yourself for solutions.
I decided that 2015 would be my Year of Refinement. And I’m talking about refinement in all its meanings. Read more…
Sleep. On the one hand, we talk longingly about it like it’s sex or dinner at a four-star restaurant. On the other hand, we brag about how hard we work, how little we sleep and how caffeinated we stay just to get everything done. We read with awe about super-productive people, from startup founders to music stars, who insist they only need four hours of sleep, and we think that should be us, too.
But as more and more research shows how powerfully sleep affects our brains, the clearer it becomes that we’re actually being counterproductive with all the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” machismo.
Working late might look impressive, but how much are you really getting done when you labor long hours — and how good is the work you’re producing? Read more…
I’m hosting a retreat for female creative executives soon, and one question lots of people have asked me is, “How do I sell my boss or my company on paying for my training and development?”
Whether you are interested in my executive retreat or another opportunity, I wanted to give you some tips on how to be strategic and effective when you make your case.
It’s December. The holidays are here in full force. How do you feel? Is the gratitude practice working? Still feeling pulled in a million directions? Like there isn’t enough time to catch your breath, let alone do all of the things you’ve planned?
And, just to ratchet up the tension a little bit more, this is the time of year when most of us start thinking about our next year–our big plans, our goals, our gotta-make-it-happen’s for 2015.
We have a solution to help you focus. Read more…
We’re beginning Part Two of our Best of 2014 list with, well, lists. A big part of creative inspiration is discovering the peers whose stories, bright thinking, and advice we can all learn from. Here is a recap of our best-of lists from 2014: Read more…
I love this time of year. From celebrating friends and family, to taking much needed time away, to preparing for the year ahead – it’s an amazing time to reflect and to look forward.
So as 2015 approaches, we wanted to take a look back at some of our favorite articles (both original and ones we discovered) and resources for Creative Executives. Read more…
Today we welcome a guest blogger with some serious creativity cred. Melinda Rothouse is the founder of Austin Writing Coach and the co-founder of Syncreate. Based in Austin, Texas, she’s a writing, creativity and communications coach and consultant. She brings to her work a background that spans everything from music to Buddhist meditation. Melinda is working on her doctorate in psychology with a specialization in creativity studies at Saybrook University in San Francisco. We’re so grateful she had time to share some thoughts on creativity and connection with us.
Why do some creative partnerships and working relationships thrive, while others crash and burn, or simply stall out? What qualities should you look for in people or organizations that you choose to collaborate with, and continue to work with over time? Read more…
We all need creative inspiration.
Whether you are in the process of making great ideas come to life or finding yourself experiencing idea fatigue and needing some mojo, staying dialed into what inspires you creatively is key.
In this month’s list we’re highlighting some of our favorite reporters and resources for just that – creative inspiration. Some will have you thinking more strategically about your creative teams, but most will have you entertained with stimulating “mind bones.” No matter your creative yearning, we’re sure there is something on this list for everyone! Read more…
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…