Is your leadership inspiring or destroying?
Most businesses have leadership and management challenges, but in the creative world these are particularly complex. Everyone is experiencing rapid change, increased commercial demands and advances in technology that are putting pressures on budgets and timings. But at the same time creativity and imagination need to be supported and fostered. Being great at creating and exploiting ideas is just not enough any more. There’s now no doubt that leadership and management have a truly significant impact on how well your business thrives.
You know the difficulties and the tensions. You face them everyday. How to balance creative freedom with commercial results, how to encourage risk taking while you are worried about failure, how to win in the short term without sacrificing the long term and how to broker relationships between departments and difficult people? Then, when you’ve made the decisions, how to take everyone with you on the journey.
Let’s be clear, these things aren’t easy. But as leaders and managers you really need to ask whether you are equipped to interpret the future, create a shared vision, engage your team and execute your plans in a complex marketplace. And the same challenges will apply to those coming up through your organization - those you want to be leaders in the future. How are they going to be able to transition successfully from running teams and projects into taking bigger business responsibilities? Why should you, or they, be able to master all these areas, without the relevant experience or the right people to learn from? Perhaps this is why surveys always identify leadership and management as the most important improvement needs.
But how do you develop these skills? Research tells us that professionals in creative businesses are open to learn, but they want to do it in particular ways. Not by being shipped off to expensive management training courses, but through continuing development and a ‘hands-on’, experiential style of learning. You’re unlikely to find what you want from the so called leadership and management gurus, the required skills are best imparted by people with the relevant industry experience.
Contrary to a lot of business writing, people aren’t just born as great leaders and managers, they can and should be developed through learning and guidance. So take the time to look at your own approach to leadership and management and make sure it will inspire and not destroy your business.