An Open Letter to Those Who Manage Creatives: Part 2

I started an open letter to those who manage creatives a little while ago, and I’d like to pick up with part 2.

4. Fight for us. Let us know you’re on our side.
Creatives can be flaky. They can be gossipy, dramatic, hyperbolic, and withdrawn, to name a few undesirable traits. Inevitably, we’re going to screw up. Who knows how or why or when. But we will. Everyone does. Fight for us. Fight for our team. When you go to bat on behalf of the team, of their integrity and time, of their good intentions and effort, it lets us know that you’re in it for the long haul. Don’t throw the creative under the bus when the team misses expectations. Fight and defend the creative team, and they’ll exceed your expectations. If they don’t…

5. Have the hard conversations with us.
I mean really. No creative worth their weight in moleskine notebooks wants to suck. We want to be part of the good class – the kind of people you’d like to spend more time with. Sincere, hard-working, impressive, over-achieving, talented people. So when we’re not – have that conversation with us. Don’t be passive, don’t email us. Talk to us. In person. Or at least on the phone. If it’s not working – include us as part of the solution. Creatives could be wildly helpful in being a part of the solution to the problem that they’re causing.

And if nothing else, you’re modeling the expected behavior. Creatives have been allowed to be on the fringe, pulling passive-aggressive punches for way too long. Just because we create does not give license to be a turd. Don’t let us pull that crap.

6. Praise. Like crazy. And dear God, with sincerity.
Most creatives can smell insincerity from a mile away. Mainly because most creatives lie more than others. And it’s probably because mainly creatives are
insecure.
desperate for feedback.
hungry for recognition.
The idea of a pious, high calling to art is a bit distant for most creatives. Many of us create because we love creation, and we love to exhibit it, be inspired, challenged, and do it again.

So, when we knock it out of the park – tell us. It’s like fuel on the creative fire. It affirms the good stuff. Let’s us know that we’re doing something of consequence, of impact, of import.

Till next time…

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4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Those Who Manage Creatives: Part 2

  1. I basically left my last job because of lack of recognition (not just verbally, but nonverbally in that I wasn’t be compensated appropriately and being taken advantage of), so I definitely identify with that.
    However, I resent being called a liar. Good thing I don’t fit the mold all the time.

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