To lead a creative team is way more difficult than one imagines. And an autocratic style of leadership is definitely not going to cut it.
Artists or creatives aren’t just regular types of employees you can boss around like machines. Come to think of it, you can hardly do that to any type of employee in 2021.
Artists are a tricky bunch to work with because their personalities tend to be extreme. They’re either eccentric, emotional, and passionate or withdrawn, introverted, and gloomy.
They are also very prone to burnouts and creative blocks. And yelling at them to do their jobs isn’t the best way to approach them. On the other hand, you also can’t be too soft as a leader. It kind of leaves your hands tied, doesn’t it?
But the key to leading a creative team is all about the environment you build and the community you nurture for them. Here are some tips that will guide you towards conversations that get you results:
1. Create a supportive environment
Work with your team seamlessly and lead by example. After all, people are more motivated to work when they’re surrounded by people with the same energy.
You should also connect with them in a more casual manner. In this day and age, even corporate companies don’t approach employees too formally, like Google. Get to know them and know how to empathize with them.
Establish open communication and always consider your member’s opinions. And don’t forget to commend their hard work and give them proper recognition.
2. Delegate tasks according to their skillset
As their Team Leader, you should understand their niche or specialty. Know what they bring to the table and what they need help with. This is a great way to build their confidence and get better quality output.
But at the same time, don’t box them into categories. A good team leader will always give them room to grow. Give them a variety of assignments that can expand their skillsets. Creatives are always seeking a challenge and tend to move on if they find that they no longer grow with their current company.
Build a strong team relationship, community/culture so they are driven and push them to do their best and produce a very creative output
3. Be mindful of burnout signs
Designers don’t just pick up creative juices in eternal wells. And even at their most disciplined, productive state, they’ll also need a breather from time to time.
As a creative lead, you must be mindful of signs that your members are being burned out by their workload—and don’t be too hard on them about it. Encourage them to maximize their vacation and sick leaves as necessary.
Encourage them to indulge in other pastimes and keep their daily lives exciting, not just absorbed by work. This helps them from running dry on creativity and enhancing their creative eye. And it makes you a leader worth following.
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