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Category Archives: Free Resources

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

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

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

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

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…

Our South by Southwest Recommendations

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…

Hacks to Help You Work Life Better in 2017


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…

SXSW 2016: Sessions for The Creative Executive

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…

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!  Read more…

Both Sides of the New Talent Game

Nurturing Talent - Make sure your high potentials don't become fallen angels

It’s a buyer’s market these days. Every time I visit LinkedIn, someone is searching for a Talent Manager. People want – and need – good in-house recruiters. Independent recruiters and recruiting firms alike have a bumper crop of jobs and roles to fill.

What does this mean for those looking to fill roles, and conversely, what does this mean for you as the job seeker? Read more…

The Power of Play in Innovation

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…

You’re Successful, Now What?


You’re at a great point in your career and you’ve done some cool stuff. That’s an awesome feeling. But you may have another, nagging little feeling, too: What’s next? What do I do now?
Read more…

Why You Need Feedback Even When You Think You Know Yourself

Feedback can make us squirm, especially if you’re a perfectionist.

That’s true even though a lot of times Read more…

What Matters Most to You in Your Work and Life?

This past month we’ve been focused on getting clear about…

who you are,

what you care about,

what success looks like for you,

and how to stay connected to those priorities and values

…in a way that helps you Work Life Better.
Read more…

Nobody’s Balanced (and that’s OK)

Let’s say something we all know deep down: There’s no such thing as work-life balance.
Read more…

The No. 1 Leadership Skill? Know Thyself

I have seen over and over how creative executives excel when they understand themselves deeply. Self-knowledge helps you navigate from a place of strength. It informs how you know others.

Knowing yourself means knowing your strengths, values and emotions. Picture the body: Strengths are the head, values are the spine, emotions are the heart. We succeed when we make deliberate decisions guided by these areas.
Read more…

Creative work by its very nature is usually unorganized, passionate, and messy; navigating the field and managing creative people with professionalism takes thoughtful nurturing not required in other areas of business. The Creative Executive Method understands that and helps you provide structure and leadership without disrupting the flow and dynamism that’s key in a creative environment.


I’ve learned much about myself as a leader, how I lead my team effectively and ineffectively. The team response has been positive to the new conversations we are having.

My brain actually thinks differently since I’ve taken The Creative Executive Method. The way I operate on a day-to-day basis, the way I speak, and the way I listen have changed for the better. I feel I developed a stronger ability to think more critically when in a direct leadership or management situation. As a result, I’m a more effective producer, a more open-minded manager, and a much more intuitive leader.

Often I am moving too fast and don’t take the time to think about my style, my impact, and my team’s impact. I realized that taking the time to be mindful about the challenges we discussed, in particular around teams, is really important for me and for the success of my business.

If you want a course that takes the blurry edges of your career and pulls them into focus, I recommend The Creative Executive Method.

We love working with Lauren. We have used her at our annual retreat for two years now, and each time we have walked away with a clearer, cleaner vision of our firm, ourselves, and where we want to go next. She does a great job setting the tone for the day and keeping everyone on track. Having her facilitate allows the leadership team participate in meaningful discussions alongside everyone else. We couldn’t recommend her more.

I felt really frustrated, having been in advertising for a crazy long time, thinking it was too late to change. But we figured something out. Something great. And now I’m creatively inspired again.

We tasked Jen with helping to coach our Atlanta Sales and Strategy teams on leadership, growth, and representing yourself. She had such amazing energy and kept the team engaged through the new insights and strategies she shared, as well as her interactive approach. The team walked away energized and inspired to take the next steps in driving their careers forward.

The more business we won and the bigger projects we were given, the less control I had of my time. Through working with Jen, I made the time to not only prioritize what I really wanted to accomplish both professionally and personally, but to establish what I expected from my staff. It allowed them to grow and take ownership of tasks and let me get back to working within my skill set. It also let me keep up with some personal goals that had fallen into the background. Jen’s coaching helped Wexley grow by helping me improve my overall productivity.

I found myself thrown into the deep end, having to take charge of a team of 10 overnight. Jen helped me find my footing as a manager and gave me the confidence and skills to grow a successful, motivated team.

Working with Jen has been the best investment of the latter half of my 20-year career. I was stuck in my own narrative, and she helped me see the possibilities in a different, authentic, and valuable way.

I’m infusing more fun, energy, and creativity into team meetings as well as spending more time 1:1 with my team members. We are implementing this change across the company, and I am in the process of working with other executives at the company to do the same with their teams.