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Category Archives: Inspiring People

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…

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.

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A Creative Comeback After Cancer

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…

Five Ways to Gain Perspective When You Can’t Take a Vacation

Five Ways to Gain Perspective When You Can’t Take a Vacation

I just returned from a month long adventure in Italy with my husband and son. I needed a break, and a few days away simply wasn’t going to cut it. 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…

The Creative Executive Reflects on the Best of 2014
Part Deux

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…

The Creative Executive Reflects on the Best of 2014
Part One

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…

How Empathy, Connection, and Trust Enhance Creativity

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…

Mind Bone: Turn Your Work Mode Off and Turn Your Creativity Up

inspiration

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…

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

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…

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

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…

Our Top SXSW Panel Picks for Creative Leaders

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…

Ones To Watch

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

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:
Christine Hassler, Millennial Expert
Part Two – Millennials At Work

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”

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…

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.
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The Lifeline of Creative Executives

My friend Ro Rao recently posted a holiday note linking to his latest art project. As an artist, animator, filmmaker, author, and agency creative, Ro is always up for breaking new ground. This time he was dabbling with trash paintings and publically challenged himself to post one per day for 100 days. Lucky for us and Instagram and Facebok, his commitment and follow-through yielded almost twice that amount, and helped inspire this newsletter.


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.

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