When Creative Leaders Become Institutionalized

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I work with creative teams for a living. From media production to communications strategy to coaching through a crisis, I love creative teams focused on helping organizations share their message with the culture. But time to time, I encounter leaders that have become institutionalized. They play it safe, stop taking risks, and look for

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Leaders: Is A Member of Your Team Holding You Back?

Here's how to figure it out...

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A large organization needed to hire an web-design agency, so they interviewed and evaluated five choices. The leadership team made the final decision, so after careful consideration it was decided by a majority which agency would be best. However, the organization’s communications director – the in-house person who would be the point person with the agency, didn’t like the choice. He wanted another web design company he knew and was more comfortable with, but he had to abide by the leadership team’s decision.  However,

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Are You a Scapegoat?

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Over and over, I meet frustrated people who feel that somehow, they’ve become a “scapegoat” – and it’s usually in the office. I can understand their feeling, because far too many times I’ve personally seen teams where a particular person seems to be picked on, blamed, or takes the heat for most of what goes wrong. The truth is, life isn’t fair, and your co-workers – even in the best of situations – will sometimes

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The Power of Being Brief

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I’ve written about this before, but until people get the message, I’ll continue to be a crazy prophet in the wilderness. Keep it short – please. I have a friend who can’t send an email less than 300 words. He feels compelled to add the backstory, all the details, the possible alternatives, and more. Even his simplest email drones on and on and on. I met with a producer recently who kept deviating from the pitch. He rambled on about

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Never Forget the People Who Indirectly Influence Your Journey

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For whatever reason, I’ve always recognized that many people indirectly contribute (or detract) from our mission in life. In high school, I was always amazed at the “bad boys” who ignored their girlfriend’s parents – especially since those parents held the permission for when and how often their daughters could go out on a date. And why make an enemy of a teacher who controlled my grade? At work I learned pretty early that secretaries, assistants, and even janitors often held the

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How to Stop Worrying About “Life-Work Balance”

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There have been hundreds of books, seminars, and consultants focused on helping people negotiate the demands of balancing life and work. Yes, there are workaholics who can’t seem to turn it off – ever. But here’s what I think: Life-work balance is only necessary when you’re doing a job you hate. That could cover a lot of careers obviously, because everyone has their own preferences. So if you hate your career (and plan to stay there) then yes – start working on the balance thing. But if you

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My Rules for Attending Meetings

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I hate meetings. I really do. So if I have to attend a meeting, I want it to be productive. Over the years I’ve actually fired employees who couldn’t control themselves during meetings (I’ll explain later). So if you’re on my team and attending a client meeting, branding meeting, project meeting or any other kind of meeting with me, you have to know what I expect. Here’s a list of things I want my people to know during a meeting, and the list might be worth sharing with your team as well:

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