Take Several And Call Me In The Morning

Design business consultant Ted Leonhardt shares New Year’s Resolutions for creative firm owners.

Over the last year I’ve worked with eleven clients. It’s been a great pleasure and privilege to be invited into their business lives and to help them deal with challenges and opportunities. Together we’ve negotiated new business deals, hired, fired, trained management teams and aligned business needs with personal goals. I’ve helped them through great and difficult moments. Sometimes it’s been exhausting, but it’s always been thrilling.

As I think back over the experiences of 2012 and what needs attention in 2013 I made this list of resolutions. Pick three to focus on and you will have a better 2013:

 

  •  I will get my virtuous cycle going.
  • I will keep my virtuous cycle running.
  • I will be clear with where we’re going and why it’s important.
  • I will deal with issues when they arise.
  • I will give feedback directly and immediately.
  • I will be precise and clear in my feedback.
  • I will give positive feedback publicly and negative feedback in private.
  • I will work on my business not in my business.
  • I will define the benefits of my expertise.
  • I will give my creative teams full responsibility.
  • I will coach and advise, not do.
  • I will add more help in account management.
  • I will communicate the benefits of our expertise to the world, weekly.
  • I will formalize our public relations and marketing efforts.
  • I will qualify new business opportunities before I act.
  • I will not do any work on spec.
  • I will not participate in cattle calls.
  •  I will say no to ridiculous requests.
  •  I will remember to ask not tell.
  •  I will take my time, remembering that I have all the time in the world.
  •  I will form a negotiation team to respond to all major opportunities.
  •  I will remind my team where we are going and why, weekly.
  •  I will only respond to pre qualified inbound leads.
  •  I will close deals that need my personal expertise.

Ted Leonhardt has provided management consulting and negotiation training exclusively to creative businesses since 2005. He cofounded the The Leonhardt Group, a brand design firm in 1985 and sold it in 1999. In 2001 and 2002 Ted served as Chief Creative Officer for Fitch Worldwide, out of London. In 2003 through early 2005 Ted was president of Anthem Worldwide, a brand packaging design group.

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