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Author: Rick Calcutt

Managing Expectations for the Creative Team

I’ve been asked on three occasions, over the last ten years, to build a creative team for a church’s new endeavor. Each time has been a lofty vision to achieve. On two occasions, the team had to be transformed and built to take on a new multi-site organization. The teams had to create new processes for technology capture and transfer to those campuses. In another church, we had to build the entire creative team from scratch. That meant not only securing quality professionals for the team, but also establishing a creative process that met the needs of a virtual...

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The End of Yelling

Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart, Bill Gates, and Jack Welch. All successful. Very visionary and competitive leaders. And every one with a well-documented reputation of raising their voices—strongly. Yes, they yelled, and it was a big part of their style. Turn to ESPN any evening and you will find famous coaches from every sport yelling at their teams. You’ve seen it—coaches in full voice, commanding attention and getting results. They would say that their yelling inspired their athletes to great performances. And of course, there’s the military. We’ve all probably experienced a TV episode or movie depicting a trainer yelling...

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How to Limit Those Under You

Decision-making lies at the heart of what a leader does. Every day they make decisions. Some are small, simple, and harmless. Others are much more important, stirring the people led, and often touching the core of the organization. It’s inevitable, leaders must make choices. But what about the creative leader? When they make leadership errors, it limits those they lead and these errors can even become the creative ceiling for the entire team. I’ve noticed these five common leadership mistakes from creative leaders that can limit those they lead. 1. Misunderstanding the Leadership Role Becoming a leader isn’t something...

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Crossing Your Fingers

When conducting an experiment, trying is the important thing. It is okay to fail as long as you keep trying. – Mr. Rzykruski Mr. Rzykruski is a Disney character in Frankenweenie. As an elementary science teacher, he serves as a mentor and inspiration to the main character, Victor. And Mr. Rxykruski is correct: The truth about leadership is that you will encounter failures and make mistakes. Remember, every leader goes through times of failure, but not every leader successfully moves through it. But success or failure can’t happen without movement – with a forward moving target. Others call it...

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The Volunteer Bodyguard

While leading in creative arts ministry for 28 years, there’s one thing I’ve learned: there will always be critics. It can’t be escaped. I wish it could. I would honestly prefer an environment where my staff and volunteers would be free from the stings of criticism. But as long as there is human life, criticism will always be with us. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the greatest challenges of church leadership is how one deals with critics. I could see it her eyes as she approached the sound booth. I could see how unhappy...

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Work Less

Work less?! The health of my team is important: spiritually, physically, and relationally. Making sure these areas stay strong not only helps maintain an environment where a creative can grow, but where my entire team can grow. There’s an old adage: You’re only as strong as the weakest link. So the health of my team is a serious priority for me as creative director. As I navigate a year, I’m always looking toward approaching seasons. Will the season demand much from my team or a particular individual on my team? Will the coming agenda require more or less from...

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A Culture of Responsibility

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” – Denis Waitley, author and coach You could find the following scenario in churches all across America. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Jason has been the Creative Director at First Church for more than six years. And his team is professional – an exceptional group who work together in an outstanding manner. However, one person, Matt,...

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Your Creative Team is Too Small

I believe innovation has always been the primary challenge of leadership. Our churches are in an era of such rapid change that leaders must continually work toward change and adaptation – all the while ensuring the organization remains true to its vision and values. Leaders must recognize the entire staff’s natural capacity to adapt and create… …or there won’t be innovation. Does every staffer have the capacity to create?  This question has been argued throughout the ages. Some schools of thought argue that not all of us have the talents or skills to be creative and others believe that...

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