Jeni Sez: Creative Superstars

by Jeni Herberger  www.jeniherberger.com

Hard to believe the InHOWse Conference is less than one month from now!! Here is a quick rundown of all the goodness that came from last year’s conference. First of all, it’s a great conference that focuses in on a very specific subset of the bigger group of creative professionals providing visual communications to businesses and consumers. Designers as a whole are people that interpret our world and simultaneously shape our perceptions. That’s a lot of power! What is it Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker? ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ – well, that’s another blog all together.

Ever seen a movie clip where everything around a focal character slows down so not a single detail is missed? That’s how I function when I’m put in a position, whether self-imposed or hired to do so, to take-in information about my surroundings and things that are being said. I slow it all down noticing things most would skip over then form them into complete and simply stated observations and action items.

So, here is something I noticed at the conference that hit me like a giant ahh-ha! The in-house world seems to have several superstar creative directors that everyone admires and companies drop big bucks to hire. We had such awesomeness at the conference with Michael Lejuene (LA Metro), Andy Epstein (Designer Greetings), Stanley Hainsworth (Tether, formerly at Starbucks), and riCardo crespo (Mattel). As I attended each of their sessions and listened to what they said about their journeys within the corporate labyrinth, I was struck by the looks of admiration, the nodding of heads, and the audible affirmation. I looked up at the speakers on the stage, all of whom are friends of mine and thought, I really like these guys but they’re not creative gods, so what makes them different? Are they more talented or simply luckier or pushier? Then I began to contrive an undeniable formula for success:

They never apologized

They never acted the victim

They always over delivered

They always took chances

Seriously, how perfectly simple is that! I can’t begin to tell you how often I hear things like, “I’ve tired that already, it didn’t work” (defeatist); “I’m not respected” (poor pitiful); “I couldn’t possibly get permission to do that” (pessimistic); and “That’s not my job” (idiotic).

It’s time to stop idolizing the successes of others and take note as to what it is they are doing that we admire. George Bernard Shaw said it best, “The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

The end result for these creative superstars – they created opportunities for their department and themselves to showcase their talent and their capabilities. This is most certainly something each of us can do as well!

©2010, Jeni Herberger

One thought on “Jeni Sez: Creative Superstars

  1. Scott

    Yeah, what she said!

    I always knew I had a feeling as to what made these guys the gods of in-house, but could never put it into words.

    They never apologized

    They never acted the victim

    They always over delivered

    They always took chances

    Thoughts to live by.

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