Captain Execution and His Swinging Fax Machine

By Albert Berkshire

On the golf course, you see every ounce of his 135 pound frame tense up. With the swing of an executioner, he drives an average tee shot about 235 yards. You’d think, at his size, he’d have to swing a fax machine to drive a golf ball that far. But not this little firecracker. He’s got a way of making things go…and go far.

“The Executioner,” as I’ll call him, is a producer and Creative Director. And you’d swear he was wired on speed all day, every day. He has the energy of three people and the management skills even the president of the company envies. In a word, he understands.

A couple of months ago,  I wrote about my old friend and de-motivator, General Motivation. Now, here’s the other side of the story.

We Creatives have a funny way of seeing everyone else’s faults and shortcomings, but not always our own. I’ll be the first to admit that. But what we do with that information is entirely up to us. Do we hold it close to our chest and let it eat a hole through us? Or do we flush it out. Air it out. Work it out.

A great manager, in my opinion, doesn’t walk away to try to find a solution to a problem or read a book on how to motivate his employees. He sits down and opens up the floor for discussion immediately. A great manager leads the charge to the solution.

I would doubt that General George Washington made every decision himself. I’m certain he must have, at least once, said to his troops, “So, what do you think?” If he didn’t, they were following blindly, like an army of Branch Dividians.

In our case, as an army of Creatives, we often jump at the opportunity to offer a solution, or at least make a contribution. It’s a part of our make-up—sensitive, thought provoked, eager-to-please Creatives. A bunch of panting puppies who love to share ideas.

Anyone can learn something from someone else…even from Creatives. When Creatives are expected to lead and motivate, they know to turn to their peers. Most of us figure, all you have to do is ask…or at least open up the floor for discussion.

We can’t all swing a fax machine, but we do have ideas on how to put the ball in the fairway. Just like “The Executioner,” we too like to make things go – far.

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