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Category Archives: Communication

A Better Way to Meeting: Smooth Flight

Our resident Improv Performer and Trainer, Shana Merlin, leads us through an exercise, based on the work of Dr. Rick Brinkman, that will improve any meeting, whether video, conference call, or in-person.

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Why We Love Improv For Teams

Improv For The Win!

What is fun and can help you practice risk-taking and communication at all levels? Improv! In this leadership video, we’re talking about why we love this for teams.

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Navigating Conflict in the Workplace

Three Tools to Help You Address Conflict

Deftly navigating conflict in the workplace is never fun, but it’s imperative to being an effective leader. In this leadership video, learn about our three favorite tools for addressing conflict at work. Get beyond the conflict by understanding priorities, scope, and social threat triggers for yourself and the other party.

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Motivating People Up, Down, and Across Your Organization

How to Motivate Others

You inspire and galvanize your direct reports, but how do you motivate people across your organization? In this leadership video, get insights into our two favorite strategies for motivating others above, below, and across your organization.

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Why Are We Here? Purpose Matters

Why Purpose Matters

Leading human teams is about much more than simply managing resources. There’s the transactional aspect of overseeing resources + workflow. There’s also a crucial relational component to managing people. In this leadership video, we’re getting relational. Let’s talk about how sharing purpose, or “the why,” with your people can lead to better work experiences and more sustainable results over the long term.

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Culture-Centric Hiring: Win the New Talent Game

When it comes to the job hunt, it’s a buyer’s market these days. And job searchers are looking for more than just a set of benefits. They are looking for fit. What does this mean for organizations looking to hire?

It means you will need to work harder to find the right talent that will help you move your organization forward. Here are five insights to help your organization navigate this hiring frenzy and come out the other end with the right people.

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How to Scale Management and Leadership in Your Company

We just finished a fun project with a client creating a Management and Leadership Style Guide. The partners of this company wanted to guide the development of their new managers in a way that’s meaningful both to them and to the staff they oversee.

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Is It Time to Hire a Director of Culture?

The job title “director of culture” is relatively new within the past five or so years. But we’re seeing more and more smaller to mid-size, entrepreneurial companies creating this role within their organizations.

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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…

Is your new boss messing with your mojo?

Hello!

I’ve had several clients this past year that have had new bosses enter the picture – sometimes at the most unexpected and inconvenient times. One even had this happen within just weeks of joining a new company!

A new leader can bring about excitement, fear, and a whole lot of uncertainty.

For some, uncertainty is invigorating and for others, it’s a fear trigger.
We want to make sure that fear around uncertainty doesn’t get in the way of you and your potential.

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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…

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…

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…

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…

How to Get Your Company to Invest in Your Development

One question we get asked over and over again, is, “How do I get my boss or my company to pay for my training and development opportunities?”

Entitlement=ambition without the context. The Creative Executive

Ongoing training and professional development benefit you, certainly, but they also benefit your team and your company at large. Helping your managers imagine the future potential is essential to getting them to invest in your growth. Being strategic in your ask will go a long way. Here are six things to think about before you have the conversation.
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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…

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…

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…

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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