The old adage that leading creative people is like herding cats is wrong. It’s more like herding tigers. Doing the work and leading the work are very different things. When you make the transition from maker to manager, you give ownership of projects to your team even though you could do them yourself better and faster. You’re juggling expectations from your manager, who wants consistent, predictable output from an inherently unpredictable creative process. And you’re managing the pushback from your team of brilliant, headstrong, and possibly overqualified creatives. Leading talented, creative people requires a different skill set than the one many management books offer. As a consultant to creative companies, Todd Henry knows firsthand what prevents creative leaders from guiding their teams to success, and in Herding Tigers he provides a bold new blueprint to help you be the leader your team needs. Learn to lead by influence instead of control. Discover how to create a stable culture that empowers your team to take bold creative risks. And learn how to fight to protect the time, energy, and resources they need to do their best work. Full of stories and practical advice, Herding Tigers will give you the confidence and the skills to foster an environment where clients, management, and employees have a product they can be proud of and a process that works.
Introduction: How To Draw Darth Vader - A primer on the definition of good creative leadership.
1: What Creative People Need - Creative people need two things more than anything else: stability and challenge. Part I Your Mind-Set:
2: Stop Doing The Work - To create stability, shift your mind-set from doing the work to leading the work
3: They Broke It, You Bought It - To create freedom, shift your mind-set from control to influence and from personal to total accountability
4: Level Up - To create stability, you need to distance yourself (a bit) from your team.
5: Lead Brilliance - To challenge your team, you need to help people see those aspects of their abilities to which they are blind. Part II Your Mechanics:
6: Earn The Right - To provide stability, you must earn, manage, and strive to maintain your team’s trust.
7: Prune Proactively - To create stability, you have to actively grow a healthy culture.
8: Stay On Target - To challenge your team, boldly and effectively channel its collective attention.
9: Defend Their Space - To create stability, manage your team’s margin by aggressing protecting “white space”.
10: Be The Muse - To challenge your team members, push them outside of their comfort zone.
11: Fight Well - To create stability, recognize that conflict isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sign of a healthy and productive team.
12: Be A Leader Worth Following - Your greatest impact comes not from the work you do — it comes from changing lives, including your own.