Who here wants to Create the Future together?
As a creative, you’re constantly hammering away at your compelling future whether you believe it or not. Your plans and follow-up actions designate what will happen for you, by you. You set the creative tone. It isn’t up to anybody else but you. Nobody else but you. Nope! It is all up to you.
Creative Leaders set the tone for everyone else. Creative Directors set the tone, set the stage for their creative teams. They act as the Steve Jobs of designers, user experience professionals, and colorists. They set the theme and make sure the work flows into and aligns with the theme. Without someone directing, the whole project flounders about, with everyone wondering whether their component of it works well with the flow, with the tone. As the leader, the executive, you set the creative tone. You create the creative future. Just like Steve Jobs did, only in a different context.
It is hard to overemphasize the importance of creative leadership. When Steve went through his Apple exodus and went onto create NeXt, Apple floundered under John Scully. John Scully didn’t possess Steve’s creative leadership and spirit and ethos. John ran Apple from a spreadsheet. Further, he was a Pepsi guy, not a hardware / software / designer guy like Steve was. John Scully only saw financial numbers. Steve saw a blazingly clear creative future at the intersection of art and technology that nobody else saw.
Which would you rather see? Which story would you rather tell to anybody that would listen? The spreadsheet story? Or, the “Hey, we’re at the cutting edge intersection of art and technology, giving you beautiful design.” It turns out that one person can make an enormous difference to a company.
What about you and your creative future? What are you working on today that will empower others to go and create their own compelling futures? What are you working on today that will inspire them to make, to go and take their own action? What are you working on today that will make somebody stop and take notice? What are you working on today that will make somebody stop, look, ask questions and BUY your creation?
As Creative Leaders, not everybody gets us. In fact, few do. We’re our own culture. The others think we are “those creative people over there in the corner, doing their thing with special, creative power only they possess.” We snicker because we know it isn’t true, yet the stereotype persists. Well, what’s wrong with being perceived as having special powers!? I’m good with that!
The Power of Good Storytelling.
What we need to get better at is selling our ideas through good storytelling. Because the best ideas do not always win. But the best ideas ‘sold’ through stellar storytelling almost always do. Get better at telling better, more compelling stories. Attend the Duarte School of Storytelling. Read Michael Hauge. Read your Joseph Campbell. It is hard to emphasize this enough. When the boss calls you Chief Storyteller, you will know you’ve arrived and can teach others the craft. Because remember: everything is teachable in Creativity Land. Everything. And here we go!
We all know what to do. We just don’t do it.
So often we know what to do, we just don’t do it. We know we should create first, yet we slack. We procrastinate. We check social media for the 119th time today. We check the phone. Anything but get after hammering on our creative project. ANYTHING. We know what we should do, we just don’t do.
Creative Discipline is the Way.
People don’t like to talk about creative discipline, a focus on daily doing , getting after it every day, similar to a Navy SEAL work ethos. The 7 day a week inspiration. But this is the thing you love, your pride & joy. Right? The thing or things you wish to be remembered by? When people think about you, you want them to align that thought of you with this creation here. The thing you create to leave your dent in the universe.
And what of your people? The people you create for? What about your friends & fans of your work? Your patrons? These are *your people*! Please don’t take too long to tend to them. They’re waiting for you /right now/ just like they are waiting for me. Like me, they want to see what’s next! They want to see what else you got! What will you show them? What will you make for them? What will you create that will keep them coming back for more?