I have been reflecting on a post I had written a couple of years ago, that talked about how Dwight Eisenhower would take the initiative to lead, instead of just being manipulated by events as they came at him. The challenge here is that, for those of us in production, so much of what we do is dependent on someone else to take the lead and then for us to respond to it.
So how can I take my own advice and not just be a victim in the circumstances that come at me, versus taking the initiative and possibly overstepping the role of production by becoming the person shaping events?
Here are a few areas I think are within my control to strive for action on, without turning someone else’s idea into something unrecognizable.
Building relationships with the creatives I work with is definitely within my control. Instead of waiting to have someone understand my world, I can reach out and understand someone else’s world. I can step out of the booth and make the first move to get to know the people on the stage. I am responsible for my side of the relational equation. What am I doing to help promote collaboration through relationship building?
Tech people are notorious for being perceived as saying “It can’t be done.” or just killing brainstorming by pointing out all the reasons someone won’t work. In an interview I had with Blaine Hogan, we talked about the idea of “We can’t do that.” versus “How can we do that?”. The difference in the two is vast. One is alienating and the other is team oriented. One is anti-team, the other communicates that we are for each other. What language I use to help the collaboration process?
So much of the time, I don’t really understand the process that a creative artist goes through to make a service happen. The opposite is true: they generally don’t understand my world either. Constantly communicating what it takes to pull off ideas, and refining the process of how we accomplish a service together is within my control. Assuming that people know what is involved from a production standpoint doesn’t help making production the most effective it can be. How can I define reality in such a way that it isn’t driving the process but helping us problem solve together?
Whether you are a member of a team or the leader of a team, these are just a few ways to take control of your environment and make your situation better, without shaping events that aren’t your to necessarily shape.