As Rotarians, we are great at meaningful small talk. Before each meeting we lean in and ask each other pointed questions; learning what we can about each other organically before the meeting bell chimes pausing follow-up conversations until after dismissal. In these brief but significant encounters, I’m often asked what I do for a living. Fair question for sure, but secretly it’s one of my favorite ones to answer. Do we merely say what tasks we’re responsible for, or do we owe it to fellow rotarians to pull back the curtain and share professional passions? I’m fortunate enough to honestly answer that I not only help run a marketing, creative, and film agency but also that I get the opportunity to lead an internal community of artists. How often do you think of the team you lead as a collective of artists, leaders or creatives? At Flight, we are blessed with a staff of artists that are deeply passionate but also deeply humble. A collective of strategists, designers, web developers, filmmakers, and creatives… all artists in their own area. What kind of artists are you leading? As a leader in your business have you taken note of all the nuanced skills your team possesses?
So what is the responsibility for any company that is housed with artists? The first responsibility when leading artists is to encourage their passions. When we support creative growth, it rarely ends where the original destination intended. Secondly, we have to encourage projects that push boundaries and learn to celebrate challenges. While it is always great to have a project you know can be a home run, keeping in mind that a team of passionately talented contributors love to be challenged means making sure that not every project is the same. This opportunity to elevate our own clients means that we are constantly looking for new ways to achieve success through the work of our own team members. Not every story will be the right story, but to a client, every story matters because it is what has brought them this far.
For the artists we lead, we have to understand that there will always be constraints, but how do we encourage our team to push past those constraints and embrace them as opportunities? Within our film team, this is shown with an understanding that a great story is communicated where technology meets storytelling. As with all technology, there will always be constraints. But we forge ahead leading artists to find the opportunities within those constraints. In your own teams, what are some of the constraints that you can help to re-imagine as opportunities?
There is an art to what we do in each of our businesses. For me and our crew, there is an art to branding, to naming, to crafting the perfect sentence, to managing accounts, editing, and sharing human experiences of emotion. Our artists do these every day, and it is a joy to lead such a talented team. And for you, fellow Rotarian, who are the artists in your organization and how are you leading them each day? Not sure? Well at least we found a topic to approach for our next meaningful small talk encounter on Tuesday.