Todd Paulson

Todd Paulson

I have had the privilege of working with some truly amazing creative leaders. The following is what I've noticed they all have in common and guidelines I try to follow every day. There is no hierarchy of importance. As you know, it's everything, all at once.

You do not have to be right all the time or be the smartest person in the room. Just be the catalyst for your teams. That's how awesome happens. And it will belong to everyone. I believe great creative leaders are both Leaders and Doers. You do not merely step away - you make way. Remain deeply involved in the process and passionate about your craft.

Don't worry where the idea came from; focus on what you can do with it and how far it can go. No egos allowed. This is a circle of trust. Ours can be a very serious business, but that doesn't mean we can't have fun while we're doing it. That's the key to keeping a creative atmosphere. Leaders inspire, motivate, set focused goals and are transparent with their expectations. They empower their teams to reach those goals. They are available to listen, help and mentor others to achieve.

It's a daily challenge to keep making things better. Accept it and stay unwavering in your commitment to great work. Embrace the risk that comes along with it. Maintain an environment of openness and respect for the amazing people on your teams. Listen with eyes wide open to everything that comes your way. Trust your instincts, but also be flexible and agile in your thinking.

In case you like lists better, here's a collection of the principles I focus on. They seem to have worked pretty well over the past decade or so.

  • Collaboration: Working together with a great team always makes the work stronger.
  • Dialog: Listen intently and communicate clearly.
  • Passion: Love what you do and it will show in your work.
  • Smart: A fresh perspective grounded in strategy.
  • Wow: Think beyond the ask to deliver work that exceeds expectations.
  • Detail: Demand exquisite execution – a great concept is nothing if the end result looks like s%#t.
  • Quality: Always raise the bar to do your best work.

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