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Category Archives: Team Leadership

10 Things to Think About Before You Get Work-Married

I was recently asked for insights on what people should think about before becoming business partners.

Partnership is marriage. Period. When it’s great, it’s great, and when it’s challenging…you have to dig in. Partnership is being legally entwined with someone else (or multiple people), for better or worse. Read more…

What’s Your Superpower?

What do you love? What makes you smile?  What interests you?  What are you good at? Your superpower lies at the intersection of the answer to these questions.

The Creative Exec_What's Your Superpower
Read more…

What I Learned From Our C/E Immersion Weekend

As I was wrapping up our Creative Executive Immersion experience, I found myself at a loss for words. I was having a really hard time articulating my thoughts to the group because I was so blown away by their courage.

In the coaching world, the word courage gets thrown around like Snickers on Halloween, so it can often sound trite or superficial. But talking about courage and actually experiencing it are two very different things. During the Immersion weekend, I was witness to the depth and meaning of the word.

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…

What Really Makes You Valuable

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…

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…

Your Creative Juice

I want you to remember the last time you felt really creative.

Perhaps it was… 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…

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…

Why It Isn’t Your Job to Make People Happy

overfunctioning

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…

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 Crappy Part About Passion

Passion_Commitment

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…

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…

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…

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…

Thanksgiving Love

acknowledgment

You know how November goes.

An eye blink from now, we’ll be in the holiday whirl of shopping, traveling, eating, drinking and gathering.

And then it’s the end of the year. Already. I know.

Before it all starts, I invite you to reclaim Thanksgiving as a time to get some perspective and connect with others.

We pay a lot of lip service to gratitude this time of year. But I want to invite you to take it deeper. 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…

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.

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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