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Category Archives: Interviews

What do curiosity and truth have to do with money?

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…

Meditation Matters

The New York Times recently featured an article touting the benefits of meditation and looking at how the worlds of business, networking and meditation are all converging. But more importantly, this article was on the front page of the Style section.

Now as a journalism major/ex-dotcommer/Pilates teacher and studio owner/sustainability consultant/entrepreneur/breast cancer survivor/meditation teacher, all with a consistent and underlying minor obsession with all things style and fashion, this was beyond exciting for me. It was as if all my worlds were coming together in the New York Times Style section – the epitome of external validation.

But while I love spreading the good word  of meditation and its benefits, if there is anything that the past two years have taught me it’s that this external validation doesn’t define who we are Read more…

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

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…

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

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

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…

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

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…

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

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

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

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…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Romy Suskin, Photographer + Studio Owner

Romy

Not many people can claim both Courtney Love and Walmart in their portfolio, but Romy Suskin can. She’s also shot Ozzy Osbourne, Alicia Keyes and Christina Aguilera; been published in Rolling Stone; and worked with VH1, Motorola, Verizon, Samsung, BBDO and R/GA. The photographer/studio owner/retouching genius is also a Creative Executive Method grad. She gave us some time to share what works for her as a solopreneur.
Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Jenny Daly, Reality TV Badass

Jenny Daly

The Creative Executive: Jenny Daly.

Resume: Founded T-Group Productions, a reality based production company, in 2011. About 20 shows in various phases of production, including Mystery Diners (Food Network), Celebrities Undercover (Oxygen) and House of Food (MTV). Last year’s sales were over $40 million. Mom of two young kids.

Honors: In Variety’s 2013 Reality Impact Report, Jenny was listed as one of the most influential people in reality television, Top 100 Companies in the World by Realscreen, and Top 25 Reality Players in The Hollywood Reporter.

How to succeed (really fast)

I think the success I’ve reached is based on Read more…

Creative Leadership in Action:
Jeff Hitchcock

Jeff

How do you champion your team?

I always give credit where credit is due.  Also, my wins and my teammate’s wins are the team’s wins.

How do you build trust with your team? 

I encourage 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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