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Category Archives: Self-Awareness

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 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…

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.

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…

Get More Sleep (and Creativity)

Sleep. On the one hand, we talk longingly about it like it’s sex or dinner at a four-star restaurant. On the other hand, we brag about how hard we work, how little we sleep and how caffeinated we stay just to get everything done. We read with awe about super-productive people, from startup founders to music stars, who insist they only need four hours of sleep, and we think that should be us, too.

But as more and more research shows how powerfully sleep affects our brains, the clearer it becomes that we’re actually being counterproductive with all the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” machismo.

Working late might look impressive, but how much are you really getting done when you labor long hours — and how good is the work you’re producing? 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.
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…

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

10 Mistakes That Sink Creative Executives

Every Creative Executive’s path to success looks different. But the mistakes that knock us off course are universal, and easy to get caught in. Do these sound familiar? 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…

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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