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Fresh on the heels of our QOHORT dinner last week in LA, Tim Thompson and I hosted the NYC edition last night. Huge thanks to the dozen or so owners who participated in each location. It’s a joy to facilitate these special events for such fabulous creative entrepreneurs.

Framing our conversation was a provocative concept from the book Unfu*k Yourself where author Gary John Bishop states flatly:

You have the life you’re willing to put up with.

We posed the question over dinner, “In your creative firm, what are you putting up with?” Quite a spirited debate followed. What we heard centered around these leadership / management issues:

  1. Many of you spend most of your day running your business… then go “do your job” (i.e., final creative decision maker) around the edges, in the evenings, or over weekends.
  2. There is too large a gap between your creative capabilities and those of your team. When it’s crunch time, you always have to step in / take over.
  3. Your team expects a lot from you (top salaries, great benefits, fulfilling work), but you struggle with expecting a lot from them.

Some corresponding strategies to help:

  1. Get clear about your Genius and then communicate to your team how the success of your studio utterly depends upon your ability to focus on it.
  2. Call the gap what it is: a big problem. Set the bar high. Leverage positive peer pressure. Give your team opportunities to fail small so when it counts, they won’t fail big.
  3. Your employees’ expectations are what they are because you set it up that way. Hire slow, fire fast.

FYI our next QOHORT dinner in London is just around the corner.

As always, I welcome your feedback.

Joel


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