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How to Lead and Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)


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A slide presentation for Podcamp Nashville 2011 based on my experiences and frustrations with building and leading a marketing team.

Published in: Business
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How to Lead and Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself)

  1. 1. LEADING AND MOTIVATING CREATIVES By @Jeff_Goins #pcn11creative
  3. 3. A CREATIVE IS...“…someone who reveals truth, who sees & understands a need & articulates a solution in whole or in part, signposting what’s next.” [Ian Finch] “...someone who is able to pull art (beauty) from life.” [Melissa Greene] “Someone who dwells in possibility.” [David Ballard]“…someone who uses the arts to intentionally communicate a story in an engaging and inspiring way.” [Drew Brown]
  4. 4. WHO AM I?Kind of a cool dude.
  5. 5. STUFF THAT I’VE DONE• Won the 6th grade spelling bee.• Peed my pants... on purpose (in college).• Traveled the world.• Lived in a van.• Started a marketing team.• Got married.
  6. 6. STUFF THAT I DO• Work for Adventures in Missions (• Tweet (@jeff_goins).• Blog (• Run.• Read a lot of books.• Eat a lot of Mexican food.
  7. 7. HOW TO LEAD CREATIVES• Acknowledge that creatives are different.• Realize that you need them to be different.• Treat them differently.• Devise a unique system to lead them.
  8. 8. THREE QUALITIES OF A CREATIVE• Nonlinear• Imaginative• Introspective
  10. 10. THREE STRUGGLES OF A CREATIVE • Productivity • Authority • Insecurity
  11. 11. CREATIVES ARE DIFFERENT You need them to be.
  12. 12. WHY YOU NEED CREATIVES• No process jams.• See what others cannot see.• Not limited by precedent.
  13. 13. CREATIVES ARE DIFFERENT.You need them to be different. And you need to treat them differently.
  14. 14. BEFORE WORKING WITH CREATIVES (READ THE WARNING LABEL) • Warning#1: Not process people. • Warning# 2: Not usually action-oriented. • Warning#3: Can be hyper-sensitive.
  15. 15. THE HARDEST PART (MANAGEMENT’S PERSPECTIVE)• “Focus is the hardest part. Ideas are great but they can also be a distraction. Be crystal clear on the main outcome youre after and then give them the freedom to be creative.” -John Morgan• “The hardest part in working with a creative [is] to provide enough structure to help and challenge while not inhibiting, discouraging or placating. Helping a creative to share ownership or give up ownership is a challenge.” -Rich Kirkpatrick
  16. 16. THE HARDEST PART (CREATIVE’S PERSPECTIVE)• “With writing or art, any creative field really, people get frustrated with deadlines because creatives have to think and work through things--its not a push button job.” -Erica Cosminsky• “For me, the hardest part about being a creative is putting my heart into the creation of a designed piece that I feel serves the market well only to have it picked apart by people who I feel are not qualified to do so.” -Frank Burder
  17. 17. THE HARD TRUTH “I am unmanageable, avoidant, and lazy.I need a strong system around me or everything fails.” -Julien Smith
  18. 18. YOU NEED A SYSTEM. And it needs to actually work.
  19. 19. A SYSTEM TO CAPTURE CREATIVITY (WHAT YOU NEED)• Translators.•Aprocess that works for the whole team.• Limitations to spark creativity.• Fun.
  20. 20. WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF This is where I get profound...
  21. 21. WHAT I (THE CREATIVE) NEED TO DO• Acknowledge the Resistance.• Put myself to work.• Give myself freedom to play (once in awhile).
  22. 22. TAKEAWAYS FOR MANAGERS AND CREATIVES• Beware of the pure artist. • Bewareof unrealistic expectations.• Beware of the head-in-the- clouds creative. • Beware of a lack of translators.• Beware of the creative narcissist. • Beware of the lone genius.
  23. 23. SUMMARY • Creatives are different. • You need them to be different. • Treat them differently. • Youneed a system to capture creativity.
  24. 24. RESOURCES• Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky [for managers]• The War of Art by Steven Pressfield [for creatives]• [for anybody]• Linchpin by Seth Godin [for artists and entrepreneurs]• Orbitingthe Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie [for creatives]
  25. 25. PHOTO CREDIT (CREATIVE COMMONS)• • aegishjalmur/ 33852688@N08/• • juhansonin/ orangeacid/• • eschipul/ hisgett/• newtown_grafitti/
  26. 26. QUESTIONS?@jeff_goins | |