Directing Creatives Is Like Herding Cats

Directing Creatives Is Like Herding Cats

As Creative Directors, we must find a way to manage our fellow creators that we serve with but still allow them the freedom to be creative.

There are many difficult tasks we take on in life. Being a Creative Director at times can be one of those difficult tasks. In order to be successful in this role, I believe you must learn to manage projects, lead people, stay up-to-date on the latest creative trends, and be resourceful.

It has been well said that people today are underchallenged. Don't ever let that be said of your team.

Some creative people have a tendency to be somewhat scattered and unable to finish things, because they are distracted by the next great idea that comes along. I know this is a fact, because I fall into that category. Although I have the best intentions to finish a project, when something else comes up that seems like more fun, I want to abandon the first project and move on to the new idea.

As Creative Directors, we must find a way to manage our fellow creators that we serve with but still allow them the freedom to be creative. We also have to find a way to accomplish our tasks, while being careful not to stifle our own creativity. Although creative people don't like to be micromanaged, you have to stay on top of things in order to meet deadlines.

The role of a Creative Director is not only about management but also about being creative. Don't allow yourself to be controlled by what you "think" you can do.

God is the Creator of everything.

If we are serving Him then He will empower us to be creative. Even if you don't personally have the knowledge of how to do something, someone on your team might have that ability, so don't be afraid to glean ideas from your team.

Surround yourself with people who are better than you!

Also, with countless tutorials available online, there is probably someone who has created a how-to video on any given subject. King Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9, "There is nothing new under the sun." Therefore, always be learning.

I'm blessed to serve with amazingly creative people who are also responsible. That's not always an easy combination to find. The team I minister with is highly skilled and always complete projects with excellence and efficiency.

As a Creative Director, many times, you lead a team. It has been well said that people today are underchallenged. Don't ever let that be said of your team. Set the expectation high and give your team a chance to meet it.

I've heard it said, "what got us here' won't get us there'." Therefore, don't repeat the same ideas over and over. There are countless forms of inspiration available to get ideas from. Find other churches that are doing work that you like and that fits the style of your church, and get inspired. Years ago, while working in the music industry, my former boss, Rick Hall, used to tell me to find something that inspires you and figure out a way to do that better. Now, I try to apply that line of thinking in ministry.

I have recently become aware of some churches that are offering free access to their creative materials so that anyone can download them and use them in their own church. This is a great resource and a true blessing to those of us who might not have the expertise or abilities that larger churches do yet we still desire to create things with excellence.

Many times, being a director of any sort (but especially a director of creative people), can be overwhelming. However, don't forget that you are serving the Lord, and 1 Peter 4:11 says that He will supply us with the strength to serve Him.

I encourage you to lead well, be creative, and watch the Lord do amazing things in and through your ministry.

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