Best Way to Lead Your Creative Team
You can pretty much google anything these days, including articles on how to best lead a team of creatives. You'll definitely find a tone of content on the topic, that's for sure. My hope, however, with this blog, is to focus on giving you bite-sized thoughts from my personal experience as I think it's less overwhelming.
Today, I want to share just one piece of advice that I have come to realize after all these years working with professionals from all over the globe, with different demands, needs, and expectations and, in the same end of the spectrum, also working with creatives that come from different backgrounds, have different work ethic, and are very much entrepreneurial.
We all are very unique with very unique personalities, perspectives and priorities. So throw away the notion that you'll always be successful in find people that act and think like you. (First off, you shouldn't be looking for this anyway but that's another story for another day.)
What you should be looking for are people that you can trust to get the job done. Whether they work like you or not, that's something you'll need to learn from each other and figure out how to have a productive and prosperous collaboration. How so? Well, here goes my one piece of advice on the best way to work with creatives.
Know every creative in your team and learn what his/her work language is. Sounds like quite the task doesn't it? Especially if you have more than a handful of people in your creative team. But hey, you're the leader right? "To whom much is given, much will be required. If leading a team of people was for everyone, than everyone would be apt to leading a team of people. And we all know that's not the case. You signed up for this. So lead with excellence. You'll do so by creating a culture where you understand how to communicate, interact, request and praise to get the best out of the people you lead.
And yes, this advice goes for anyone who leads a team. I am only singling out "creatives" here because many business owners would consider them the "unruly" crowd. Unruly because most creatives tend to want to do things their way and on their timeline. And communicating with most creatives can be more challenging considering they tend to be individuals that like to take the reigns on a vision instead of a list of items to check off.
So know your team and care about how they like to work so nobody gets frustrated.
"The role of a [creative] leader is not to have all the ideas; it's to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they're valued." - Sir Ken Robinson
Oh and understand that we are all considered creatives; we were created to create. So uniqueness is in fact part of our makeup. Respect your teams unique makeup if you want them to respect yours.