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Category Archives: Legacy

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…

Grit in the Face of Adversity

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…

The Four Facets of Effective Creative Leadership

Four Facets of Effective Creative Leadership | The Creative Executive

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 bird 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…

Five Reasons to Attend our Three-Day C/E Immersion This November

Transformative….dynamic….amazing….empowering…powerful…these are just some of the adjectives used by our Spring Immersion group to describe their experience. While we think it’s a great way for successful women to get clarity on your professional and personal goals, and get insights on how to go forward into 2016, don’t take our word for it.

Need a reason to come to our three-day C/E Immersion Experience in November? Here are five! Read more…

Get Out of Your Element; Get Back in the Game

Taking Risks

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…

Five Ways to Architect Inspiration

“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…

SXSW 2015 – Writing Your Next Act

I was honored to be chosen to speak at SXSW this year.

Writing Your Next Act was a full session attended by a diverse audience of restless, successfuls looking for the next step in their career. A great reminder that we all experience transitions in our work, passions, and focus. The question is – are you leveraging your transitions to get you where you want to go?

We’ll share the video when it’s ready, but if you are curious about the specific content, you can click here for a summary.

How Do You Gain Success at the Top?

Come to Life

Here’s something you probably didn’t predict about your career when you started out: Midway through, with plenty of success behind you, you’re still looking for your path.

The secret that no one tells you? It’s totally up to you to figure it out.

The landscape of the work world is a lot different than it was when you first started out. Companies that still lay out succession paths of how you can move up are few and far between.

Who you are — and what you need to do to keep succeeding — is different, too. At this stage, your success is less about how you execute and more about how you manage relationships and make things happen.

So you’re in charge of the path. What does that mean for you now? Read more…

The Year of Refinement

Priorities

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…

Something to Look Forward to All Winter Long

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…

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…

What’s Your Impact?

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

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…

What Do Great Creative Leaders Know?

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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:
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…

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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