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Big Ideas

A Solo Show No More!

The transition from running with your own ideas to working with a creative team can be painful. The skills needed to lead yourself are quite different.


Self-starters are often successful doing everything themselves. However, when forced to grow beyond the one gal/guy-show, many creative professionals are unable to take the leap from a solo success to a successful collaboration.

The transition from running with your own ideas to working with a creative team can be painful. The skills needed to lead yourself (primarily self-reliance) are quite different than the skills required to lead others. Once the best candidate for every task, you can become a victim of your own talents as you are forced to delegate, share ownership, and “let things go.”

Here are a few classic problems that we’ve observed:

Problem #1: You are doing things that can be done by others (although, admittedly not quite as well).

Yes, it is always ideal when the head designer or band leader can deal directly with any inquiry. However, with such a task, the leader is not doing the critical things that only he/she can do. The leader of any creative endeavor should focus on the things that ONLY he/she can do – the stuff that others cannot do. You must let go of the rest.

Problem #2: As the founder, you’re still acting and thinking as the sole owner.

When you fail to share ownership, you’ll fail to get those around you to care. This is not about money, it is about mentality. Having only one person take the extra mile to spread the word and think of solutions to problems is not enough. You need to engage your team as owners by sharing credit, sharing responsibility, and sharing financial rewards.

Problem #3: You just want your team to get the job done rather than learn how to do the job better.

Remember that the people who work for you are likely interested in more than money; they want to become experts. Besides being the leader, you need to be a teacher. Find opportunities to engage your team in whatever interests them, even if it is beyond the scope of their job.

No great creative project can thrive (or even survive) off the energy of one person. You must be able to evolve with the scope of your creative ideas in order to make them happen.

Comments (1)
  • davetiedemann

    Totally agrre with it.<br />
    Experienced it myself after i got promoted.<br />
    You have to let go of certain things.<br />
    And give people the chance to develop themselves.<br />
    <br />

  • Jedrzej

    awesome photo!

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