Behind The Scenes with Creative Leaders: How They Got There
Creative Leaders Research Slides
We’re about to take away the mystery on how creatives build successful leadership careers.

We invested some decent dollars into a survey firm that polled hundreds of creative leaders … and we’re ready to reveal the exclusive results into what it takes to craft a career in creativity. In this episode we explore the research along with a panel of top creatives from world-renowned brands — Google, Microsoft, CreativeLive, Adobe — in a real, raw and honest webinar produced by The Stoke Group and hosted by Adobe Executive Creative Director Adam Morgan.

We’ll explore answers to:

  • How much does education factor into creatives’ success? 
  • What skills are needed to succeed as a creative director? 
  • How long does it take to land a creative director position?
  • Can someone from, say, a photography background be a creative executive, or do you need to be from a design or editorial background? 
  • Is there an age ceiling to a creative career? 
  • How do top performing creatives prevent burnout?
  • How do you stay at the top of your game — and lead others to do the same?
  • And … more.
mentioned in this show:
adammorgan
Adam Morgan
Executive Creative Director Adobe
stoke-logo
The Stoke Group
Digital Marketing and Full-Service Content Agency
Panelist:
Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis is an award-winning artist, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and one of the most influential photographers of the past 20 years. His work ranges from shooting campaigns for Apple, Nike, and Red Bull; to working with Serena Williams and Tony Hawk, to collaborating with icons like Lady GaGa and Richard Branson. Chase is the Founder of CreativeLive, where millions of students learn from the world’s top creators. He also created Best Camera – the first photo app to share images to social networks. He lives with his wife, Kate, in Seattle.

Panelist:
Chase Jarvis

Chase Jarvis is an award-winning artist, entrepreneur, best-selling author, and one of the most influential photographers of the past 20 years. His work ranges from shooting campaigns for Apple, Nike, and Red Bull; to working with Serena Williams and Tony Hawk, to collaborating with icons like Lady GaGa and Richard Branson. Chase is the Founder of CreativeLive, where millions of students learn from the world’s top creators. He also created Best Camera – the first photo app to share images to social networks. He lives with his wife, Kate, in Seattle.

Proud Career Moments:
Founder of CreativeLive (where more than 10 million students learn photography, video, design, music and business from the world’s top creators and entrepreneurs).
Proud Career Moments:
Author of the best-selling book, Creative Calling.
Proud Career Moments:
Creator of Best Camera – the first photo app to share images to social networks.
Proud Career Moments:
Named one of the most influential photographers of the past 20 years.
Panelist:
Xanthe Wells

Recognized by AdAge as a 2019 Woman to Watch, Xanthe Wells is the Sr. Director and Global Executive Creative Director for Google Devices and Services. She was recognized in 2015 by AdAge as one of the industry’s “40 Under 40,” and by Business Insider as one of the “30 Most Creative Women in Advertising.” An art director by trade, Xanthe was born and raised in the heart of San Francisco but now lives in Los Altos with her two totally awesome kids.

Proud Career Moments:
Getting a chance to lead the Google Devices & Services creative team after Nest rolled into Google in 2018. Leading a team of 100+ talented amazing creatives inside marketing.
Proud Career Moments:
Shooting the Astrophotography spot last year and getting to use the voice of Stephen Hawking’s VO.
Proud Career Moments:
Having advocated for, promoted and hired many female creatives throughout the course of her career.
Proud Career Moments:
Featuring people with disabilities in much of her creative work. As well as pushing body diversity in casting.
Proud Career Moments:
Never being afraid to put her kids first when it comes to work. “Never apologize for having a family.”
Panelist:
Xanthe Wells

Recognized by AdAge as a 2019 Woman to Watch, Xanthe Wells is the Sr. Director and Global Executive Creative Director for Google Devices and Services. She was recognized in 2015 by AdAge as one of the industry’s “40 Under 40,” and by Business Insider as one of the “30 Most Creative Women in Advertising.” An art director by trade, Xanthe was born and raised in the heart of San Francisco but now lives in Los Altos with her two totally awesome kids.

Panelist:
Sue Biovin

Sue Boivin is the former Executive Creative Director for Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Brand Studio and the Microsoft 365 Creative Studio. She has more than two decades of experience working with some of the world’s most loved brands and the brightest minds in the business. As a Creative Director for multinational and small boutique agencies she strived to build, she mentored and created inclusive teams that were given the space and support to be their very best.

Panelist:
Sue Boivin

Sue Boivin is the former Executive Creative Director for Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Brand Studio and the Microsoft 365 Creative Studio. She has more than two decades of experience working with some of the world’s most loved brands and the brightest minds in the business. As a Creative Director for multinational and small boutique agencies she strived to build, she mentored and created inclusive teams that were given the space and support to be their very best.

Proud Career Moments:
Convincing a client to buy an unconventional campaign and then seeing the direct impact: over increased engagement and market share by more than 300%.
Proud Career Moments:
Launching Microsoft Teams and seeing her team win industry awards for the creative work while increasing acquisitions by 35M users.
Proud Career Moments:
Having a total creative budget of $9k for a broadcast campaign, then seeing the creative executions win big that year, get picked up globally and make the client a household name.
Proud Career Moments:
Mentoring creative careers to see those individuals move up and on to become exceptional creative thinkers and mentors themselves.
Host:
Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan is the executive creative director at Adobe, where he has worked for seven years, but spent the previous 19 years at several large creative agencies. As an avid proponent of the value of creativity, he is the host of the podcast Real Creative Leadership, and author of the book, Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business — Proving the Value of Creative Ideas in Business.

Proud Career Moments:
Making the AdWeek Creative 100 list.
Proud Career Moments:
Getting a book published with a NYC publisher.
Proud Career Moments:
Presenting big ideas to large audiences at a conferences around the world.
Proud Career Moments:
Being named one of Utah’s 40 under 40 and Utah Ad Professional of the Year.
Proud Career Moments:
Serving on the national council of governors for American Advertising Federation.
Panelist:
Adam Morgan

Adam Morgan is the executive creative director at Adobe, where he has worked for seven years, but spent the previous 19 years at several large creative agencies. As an avid proponent of the value of creativity, he is the host of the podcast Real Creative Leadership, and author of the book, Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business — Proving the Value of Creative Ideas in Business.

Comments (2)

There is so much goodness in this episode.

Such a great episode for any stage of your creative leadership journey. So many gold nuggets.

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Transcript

Adam Morgan:

If you have the ability to set a vision, if you have an ability to inspire others, if you have the ability to get the best out of your team and understand the market and all these various things that Sue and Xanthe have all talked about, that puts you in a position to lead. The choice for you is what do you do with that? Welcome to Real Creative Leadership, a place where creative leaders can find insights and practical guidance on the day-to-day job of being a creative leader. We focus on real issues, topics, and insights of creativity in the business world. Join me as we explore the best strategies for developing your team, getting others to embrace your vision and generating amazing experiences. This webinar series is produced by the Stoke Group. I'm your host, Adam Morgan, Adobe executive creative director, author of Sorry Spock, Emotions Drive Business. And this is Real Creative Leadership.

Adam Morgan:

Welcome, welcome, welcome. It's so great to have you all here. Thank you so much for joining Behind The Scenes with Creative Leaders: How They Got Here, a special session on creative careers. This event is brought to you by Real Creative Leadership, a video podcast and community where we give real world guidance on how to succeed as a creative leader, especially after you get a seat at the leadership table. In short, we're helping create a new breed of leader so that together we can make a bigger creative dent in business. I'm your host, Adam Morgan, executive creative director at Adobe. Real Creative Leadership is produced by the Stoke Group, a full service global digital marketing content creation agency with offices in Salt Lake City, LA, San Francisco, Boston, and New York. Every member of the Stoke team has helped contribute to this event from procuring and funding the research we're about to share with you, as well as helping out with our panelists, including me to set us up for success.

Adam Morgan:

I'm super grateful to be in partnership with the Stoke Group for this event and for each webcast we produce together. And today, I'm very excited to share with you three special guests that I'm thrilled to introduce. Our first is Xanthe Wells, the Senior Director and Global Executive Creative Director at Google. She was recognized by Ad Age as a 2019 Woman to Watch, and as the industry's one of the 40 Under 40. Business Insider also listed her as one of the 30 most creative women in advertising, but beyond all the accolades, in my experience, in just my short time working with Xanthe is I had just experienced a bold leader who cares deeply about others and is willing to help with their careers. Xanthe, thank you for joining us.

Xanthe Wells:

Thanks.

Adam Morgan:

All right. Next, we have the illustrious Sue Boivin, former Executive Creative Director at Microsoft. She has worked for decades in some of the most beloved brands, winning big awards and making a big impact on business. But what she seems to focus on more these days is working with the brightest minds in the business and being able to guide and mentor many of them. She really cares about their careers and other people, which makes her a perfect expert for today's discussion. Sue, a huge thank you for being with us.

Sue Boivin:

Hello.

Adam Morgan:

And last but not least, I'm excited to have Chase Jarvis, the Founder and CEO of CreativeLive. I've been a huge fan personally of Chase for years. And on his podcast, I feel like you've personally introduced me to amazing people like Brené Brown and Austin Kleon. Chase is an award-winning photographer and that's where he started, but he's also a bestselling author. I don't know if you can see we've got his book right there. His book, Creative Calling, is super inspiring. Everyone, please go buy a copy and read it, I've loved it. So Chase a humble bow to you for being on our show.

Chase Jarvis:

Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here.

Adam Morgan:

Excellent. All right. We've got the pleasantries out of the way. So let me give you, as you read in the title today, we're going to be discussing creative careers. And for those who joined me this past week at MAX, where I walked through all the various paths you can take as a creative person, just think of this as like session 2.0 on this topic. So, but let me give you a little bit of background as to why we're doing this session. So unlike other careers, a creative career can seem a bit wild and organic. I get it like most of the people I've met, it's just like they've fallen into this career and, or they didn't even know about it early on, but for many of us it's like a whack-a-mole like just different jobs and gigs and things pop up and we're just taking whatever we can. The good news is it doesn't have to be this way.

Adam Morgan:

So as a followup to that MAX talk, we decided to prepare for today's event, and we commissioned a formal research project, where we interviewed hundreds of creative leaders across the country, just to find insights on how you can better prepare to continue your creative career. So this is not just for like those starting out. This could be for those who are deep in a career or those who are looking for a new guidance on their next step. We also wanted to bust some of the myths that we have about creative careers, so that didn't get in the way of your career planning. And then to discuss the research that we came up with, we brought together this group of Uber successful creative leaders to get their personal perspective on the research and also some personal stories from their experience of how they made it in the business.

Adam Morgan:

So I hope you're just as excited as me to dig in. And also we have a chat here on the side with other people from Real Creative Leadership on the team. If you want to ask some questions, go ahead, stay engaged in the chat pod and they are there to help you out. All right. So now that we have that out of the way, let's get to the chitty-chatting. All right. One of the big questions we have when starting out on this research is the topic of skills. What does it take to become a creative leader? Our assumption is that much of the internet gets this wrong. Like I've done searches on the internet of like how to become a creative director. And almost all the time, the advice is, just be really, really good at the craft, and then eventually, poof, you'll be a creative director. Like that's kind of what it is. It's focused all on the craft, but we know that as creative leaders, it's so much more than that. It's not just the craft. That's the starting point. So we wanted to find the real answers of what skills you need.

Adam Morgan:

All right. According to our study, the top skills of a creative leader are number one, creating a vision for the company or team that makes sense, followed by an understanding of finance, and number three, skills and marketing strategy. What? Hold on a second here. So two of these top three skills aren't even creative skills. So to be a creative leader, we have to learn finance and marketing? Xanthe, let's toss this over to you. Is this true? Do we really need to know finance and marketing?

Xanthe Wells:

Yeah, I mean, I think all those are true to some degree. I think though, at least for me, those are kind of skills, hard skills, but when I look at successful creative leaders, I think it has to do with character traits and being an exceptionally good listener. I think I would rank number one. And when you're an exceptionally good listener, you're listening for, how does finance work? How does resourcing work? What's the strategy? And you're listening for all the answers. And then more specifically, you're confident in your own ability. So you're able to listen to your teams. You're able to listen to your peers, people above you, people below you, clients. And I think that that is the one skill that is the most essential when I look at it.

Xanthe Wells:

I think the second being extremely confident in your own ability and talent, because I think too often, people rise really quickly and they haven't really achieved the kind of success that would make them truly feel good about themselves. So they're still trying to prove themselves rather than serve the team. And I think when you've gotten to a place where you're ready to serve the team, you can be aware.

Adam Morgan:

Now, that's awesome. I think you're right. It is a balance of hard and soft skills. And I think that's kind of the, oftentimes when I talk about it, it's like the hard skills or the creative skills of design or writing or whatever you need, you've got to get those. Those are the foundation, but there's so many soft skills, vision, leading team, all of that. Here's another interesting stat. 62% of creative leaders say that creative professionals at their company have to move out of the creative field in order to advance to an executive level position. So that means the more we grow as leaders, the more we have to move past those core skills of design and storytelling, and we have to actually learn business skills. Sue, what are your thoughts on this topic?

Sue Boivin:

I think you need to understand how to run a business. That's just sort of table stakes at that level, because this is a business and you're not just in it for the glamor. If you want to keep your team happy, if you want to have them not overwork, not burned out, you have to know how to manage workload and resource allocation and the fundamentals of running a profitable department. I also think you have to be able to estimate the time to do the work against a given budget, which is really critical, and you have to be able to create an SOW, to be able to read an SOW, you have to know when it's right for that change order or to negotiate scope creep. These are things like hiring the right vendors and vendor management is really important to know, and making sure the team has all the right tools and the info to do their job, and know the signs when something's going off the rails is really important. And you learn that by just, like Xanthe said, listening and really learning and honing your craft as you move along your career path.

Sue Boivin:

You also have to understand production costs, timelines. And what's really important is protocols and company compliance. Know those things of, especially the businesses you're working and the business you're working for. Your responsibilities, I think in this area increase beyond the day-to-day creative demands as you move up and along that career path. And I think it's really important also to know your company's basically business priorities and what to focus on while making decisions for your team.

Sue Boivin:

I've often, I'm going to riff off when Xanthe said, and that is, I've often thought that great creative leaders seem to have seven or more areas of excellence, or I like to call them pistons. And all those pistons have to be firing at the same height at the same level all the time. And one of them is being incredible listener. Obviously, having creative acumen and knowledge and all the different creative disciplines. Critical is relationship building abilities. I think that's really critical for your clients and for the people you work with. Being able to create strategies, brand strategies, sometimes business strategies, marketing strategies, general business knowledge of the clients that you're working for, or the products that you're working for, or the businesses that you're working for, having to be a psychologist and a therapist. Understanding, you have to be understanding and empathetic, the ability to create clarity and the ability to create calm. And I think those are also really important for this job.

Sue Boivin:

Interestingly enough, there is a joke in the business where you start your career in Adobe Cloud using all those apps, and as your career moves along, you add on Microsoft 365 and Google Docs. And as you hit the creative director level, you have all these productivity apps and you actually know how to use them. And I think that's really key as well. So yeah, I think as you grow and learn and you adapt, you pick up all these different skill sets that are really, really make a well-rounded, effective creative leader.

Adam Morgan:

Wow! So if we have to be on top of all seven pistons and your list was actually longer than seven, that was like 3,000 pistons that we need to be focused on-

Sue Boivin:

Some days are better than others. Though, often you're not going to have it all together every day.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah. That's correct.

Sue Boivin:

Like pull in what you need in the moment. So if you're talking to stakeholders, you're going to show up very differently to those people than if you're talking to your team who have to constantly be moving this things around.

Adam Morgan:

The takeaway, definitely from this research and your response is, to be a creative leader, you've got to have a lot of disciplines covered. You can't just be focused on the craft. So, and Chase, you mentioned, you may want to jump in real quick on this one before we-

Chase Jarvis:

Yeah, I just want to throw one thing in there for consideration that we talk culturally a little bit in this panel, but I believe strongly in what Xanthe and Sue are both talking about. I just want to characterize it slightly differently. There's a belief in our culture that creativity is art and design and that's where creativity stops. But some of the most creative activities that I've done in my life have to do with learning how to build a business and creating outcomes through personal experience and through working with others and through learning. So to think that craft is creative and everything else is not creative is a fundamental stumbling block culturally. And if you think and take at face value with Sue and Xanthe who have talked about, like all those things are things that we have to create for ourselves, we have to create our awareness about these deficits, we have to create outcomes for our team, we have to create time and space for us to develop these skills.

Chase Jarvis:

Soft skills, leadership, all these things, they are skills just like anything else. Those are not personality traits. So just be wary when we're talking about craft, like the craft of creating good business is still a creative craft. It's just a little bit different. I like to think that we have to take charge of those things rather than be corks in the tide. So just an asterisk there. And I couldn't agree more with all the different permutations that Xanthe and Sue we're talking about.

Adam Morgan:

Perfect. Awesome.

Sue Boivin:

That's a really good point. And no matter what you doing, you're going to be creative.

Chase Jarvis:

Yeah. Right. If creating means putting things together to form new and useful things, then that's business and empathy and connection, and sure, creative cloud, but all these other things are within art. We're creating machines as people. And sometimes we forget that, whether we're creating art or recreating an outcome for our business.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah. That's awesome. And we'll get into more aspects of that in some further questions. I definitely want to dig in more on that, but let's shift gears a little bit. And first, a shout out. There's so many great people from all around the world and we've had people from India and from Norway and other places chiming in. So thank you everyone for tuning in, even if it's like the middle of the night for you. All right. The next question we have is self-care. So we talked to a 100 creative leaders or hundreds of creative leaders about the things that caused them to feel burnout. The number one cause of creative burnout is heavy workload followed by tight deadlines. So we get that. Question is, are we overworked as an industry? Are we just a bunch of complaining wimps? Let's be real.

Adam Morgan:

So let's talk about this. And the solution to avoiding burnout is getting enough sleep and good diet. So, Chase, you've talked a lot about this. Self-care on your show, self-care in your book. I know you've got like a short checklist of things we need to do as creative professionals to stay happy. Maybe can you just briefly share with us like a high-level guide on what to do for self-care?

Chase Jarvis:

Sure. Well, you mentioned sleep and diet, and these are things that people want to ignore because they're not sexy, but if you dissect any great, successful and fulfilled person. Remember, success and fulfillment don't necessarily go together. So if you want to dissect a top performer, they do these things in every discipline, whether it's building homes or playing basketball or a creative career, self-care is literally at the core of any top performer. So it wouldn't be or shouldn't be different in anyone's mind who's thinking about what they want to do with a creative career. There's so many...

Chase Jarvis:

... do with a creative career. There's so many we could list, as you mentioned. There's a checklist and I've wrote about it a lot in my book, Creative Calling. But I think the most important thing that's often overlooked is mindset and mindset has to do with mental health, mental awareness. A lot of the things that we talked about, some of those skills that Sue mentioned, her seven pistons, all those. If you think about top performers in any sphere, the skill differential is remarkably narrow. The best professional golfer and the second best professional golfer can strike a ball very similarly. But what distinguishes them and what I think is foundational for self-care is, "How do you take care of your mind?"

Chase Jarvis:

This is a 2-million-year old organ that's not put in our skull to make us happy. It's put in our skull to help us survive. What we have to do as creators, as humans, is get that thing to work for us and understanding things like the thoughts in your head. Those are not you, those are thoughts and those are part of that 2-million-year-old organ that says when I put out this post on Instagram or put my book or my piece, my poem out into the world, what response... Our biology tells us that we have to look at any negative comment as a threat like it's a saber-toothed tiger. I'm here to tell you that there are no saber-toothed tigers that are going to get you. Sure, we have to pay attention to some things and fear is real, but most of this stuff can be managed if you spend time and effort getting good at managing your mindset.

Chase Jarvis:

This is mental health, and all this stuff does boil down into sleep and diet and the things that are our typical trappings of taking care of our physical body that so little is paid attention in our culture, and specifically, I think, our industry, about what it takes to have a great mindset. And these are tools like self-talk and meditation, mindfulness, awareness practice, all this stuff. Of course, it makes great leaders, but first we have to be great humans, and this stuff is fundamental. So I'm a huge advocate of mindset and learning to control this thing between our ears rather than have it control us.

Adam Morgan:

That's perfect. Well clearly if I just zen out here for a minute, I'm just having self-care. I'm just fixing the little noodle between the ears here, so no worries. But if anyone wants to learn more, definitely go read the book. There's a lot of great insight on that.

Adam Morgan:

Awesome. Well, next topic that we have is agency versus in-house, that whole thing. So here's the stat. 52% of creative directors at a brand previously worked at an agency. And today, there's an even mix of creative leaders at brands and at agencies with about 20% is freelance. So it's a big change from years past. I know at least in our industry, it seems like so many more were all-at agency and then we just had a small pocket in brands. The world has changed. Sue and [Zanthy 00:19:09], you both worked at an agency and then ended up at a brand. And I'd just like, walk us through briefly about your journey and why you made those decisions. Let's start with Sue first.

Sue Boivin:

Yeah, like you said, I first started at the business and the breadth of work was being done in agencies. And so I got to move around a lot and worked on a variety of different accounts and different types of brands. I really learned to build upon each experience and hone my craft. Agencies are great because all those departments need to work together in order to be successful. It's a great way to learn all aspects of business and all of your client's business. So I truly had a great career in agency and I love agencies.

Sue Boivin:

Depending on where you live, around six to eight years ago, there was a shift and brands started to realize that although they lean on agencies to do some of the work and they still do, there might be cost-effective to bring all this expertise in-house and essentially have control over all aspects of the brand and the brand expression. Whereas agencies were doing some project work, in-house agencies were creating end-to-end experiences, from product design to the product launches and all the campaigns in between.

Sue Boivin:

So companies started hiring people from agencies that could help them achieve this. Now we have all these incredibly innovative companies like Adobe and Google and Amazon and Microsoft with all these incredibly talented creative thinkers and creative problem solvers and they're just down the hall. So essentially everyone's working together. For me, that was super exciting. It was also a trend. It is a survival mechanism that kicks in when you say, "What's going on in my industry?" I kind of got to be a little bit ahead of the game.

Sue Boivin:

So I was motivated to make the shift and I started talking to recruiters and reaching out to my network. And this is where your network matters more than, you know. It's something that you obviously are going to rely on. At the time, luckily enough, I was working in an agency on a Microsoft account and I was running that account, so our recruiter reached out to me and said, "Hey, there's an opportunity, this new team called Microsoft 365. You want to talk about it?" And I was like, "Yeah, it's Microsoft. Yeah, of course."

Sue Boivin:

Just like in an agency, you have a vested interest in the success of that product, but it's different in a sense that you are not only the agency and the brand and the brand steward, but you're also the client. And so you're living and breathing the brand and the product. And it's funny because it's different in the fact that those things become part of who you are, because you're entrenched in that environment. For instance, when I was running Microsoft 365 security in the integrated marketing team, my team actually work hand-in-hand. This is a difference than it is in an agency with product managers, product engineers, product designers, directors, GMs, creating partnership, opportunities, every single aspect for the marketing of the Microsoft 365 and security business.

Sue Boivin:

And you don't get that kind of experience in an agency. I've talked to a lot of people who have gone back and forth. I think it's great to have both types of experiences for your career. As a leader, you get to impart all this different types of knowledge to your team, the differences, the similarities, why things work the way they do, because you always hear about, "Oh, this client and this client..." But if you have that experience, you can actually impart the reasons why maybe a client is reacting this way.

Sue Boivin:

I think having agency experience made it easier for me to actually move into the client side because the skillsets are similar but the structures are different. Structure of the organizations, different skillsets are still needed. And I've seen people reinvent themselves, moving from agency into in-house, like writers becoming strategic planners and visual designers becoming product designers. I think it's really cool aspect of what we do. And I also feel like you have to look for those unique opportunities to reinvent, but those things exist. So totally, if you have the ability to do both, I would highly recommend sort of rounding out your career that way.

Adam Morgan:

Well, that's awesome. Zanthy, give us maybe your take on moving from agency to brand.

Xanthe Wells:

Sure. Yeah. So I spent about seven years at [inaudible 00:24:19] Day. That's kind of where I cut my teeth, probably the happiest job I've ever had. From there I went to a small boutique agency that had already been founded, I've got about two clients in LA. I was there for about a year and a half. We sold the agency. That was an amazing experience, just learning about investor relations and how to actually sell an agency, because I was a partner in it. So I went through that experience. Then I was really craving just great creative and going back to my roots. So I joined [Malford Good 00:00:24:46] under [Lee Clough 00:00:24:46], he was running [Lorraine Job's 00:08:50] organization. So Emerson Collective, we worked on that.

Xanthe Wells:

I was starting at that point to kind of look around for what's next. I remember I got offered the dream job, for me at least, which was running Dove out of Ogilvy in London. And I'm like, "This is amazing. Oh my God, I love the team." And then something pulled me back from it. I realized, and I think Chase what you said earlier about creating a business, and that was one of the most creative things I felt like I did at Pitch. When we sold the agency, it was really ramping that business up, really understanding the fundamentals of running it. And that felt like the biggest creative thing I'd ever done. So to go take an agency job, while it was the best possible agency job I could have imagined, I was still like, "There's something's not right here. It's not scratching the itch." I started talking to different brands, Airbnb, Uber, a couple others.

Xanthe Wells:

And then I got a random call, a friend. Like Sue was saying, your network is more important than you know. Someone I'd worked with peripherally for about four months put my name in the hat for a job at [Nest 00:00:25:57], being the creative director. And I was like, "Well, look, I don't really use their products. I love them. They're a great brand. Should I even take the call?" Because I wanted to be someone that would be the best proponent of that brand. I quickly fell in love with the co-founder, the entire team. I was like, "This is the place."

Xanthe Wells:

And I loved, in my interview, talking to all the different folks. Like one woman that I met with who's still a good friend, she was running Home Depot and Best Buy and all the partner marketing. I'm like, "That's really interesting. I want to help solve your problems."

Xanthe Wells:

So it was access to solving creative challenges that I'd never been exposed to and that felt exciting. It felt more holistic. Rather than, "Here, you guys do the Super Bowl spot or you guys do this holiday campaign." And I always wanted to go deeper into how business runs and that was fascinating to me. That was my journey into client side and I absolutely love it. I learn every single day and I'm listening a lot more than I'm talking because the people around me are so incredible. I mean, it's like filled with Stanford MBAs and engineers. Sue was talking about the entire product roadmap. I'm getting to see and experience things I never would have done so I absolutely love that.

Xanthe Wells:

I would love to come back to one comment in the chat from Wendy who was asking about taking care of your wellbeing. It was an earlier question, as a woman. I was really late to the game in terms of taking care of myself. I'm 42 now and literally only about a year ago, did I start working out. I've worked for 17 years and I was a art director designer. I only wanted to design and I was obsessive about it. And then I was obsessive about creative directing. And so I always put that on the back burner. And I had this, my back started hurting, all these things started going wrong with me. And I'm like, "This is crazy. I can't be a performer without a body that's functioning." And mental space, like Chase was talking about, a great mindset.

Xanthe Wells:

It was all coming to a head and I remember seeing... I don't know why this was, but I saw this boxer. ESPN was on the background, I'm not a sports fan. I saw this boxer in the ring, his shoulders were being rubbed, water was being given to him, someone was talking to him about his game. And I'm like, wait, "I have to create that team in myself." Because no one's going to get me water. No one's going to coach me. No one's going to rub my shoulders and keep me in the ring unless I do it myself. I was like, "Okay, this I have to take seriously because otherwise I'm just going to go and burn out. I've been pushing it for too long." I was getting older.

Xanthe Wells:

I think you have to treat yourself as the campaign or as the product. You're just as important as the things you're doing because you can't do the things unless you have that kind of prioritization on yourself.

Adam Morgan:

That's awesome. Thanks for bringing that back. I definitely agree with all of that and in the journey of going agency to brand side, I think there is just a little bit of that ownership, accountability, just going deep. I think that's pretty awesome. There are a lot of great comments around that and it is. I think the good news is, it's not like back in the nineties when I started. If you went over to the client side, you were just selling out and I don't think that's the case anymore. You can just find the right company, whether it's agency or brand, the one that works for you. That's awesome.

Adam Morgan:

Cool, okay. Next topic. We're just humming right along here. The next topic is, "What's the background of a creative leader?" Most of the creative directors that I've worked with were designers or writers. It's kind of in those two camps, but some had a technical production background. Others come from different pursuits like photography. Certainly anyone can become a creative director, but some of our research came from a background of illustration.

Adam Morgan:

But anyhow, we were curious, what is the majority of the background of most creative leaders? Not like it's a rivalry or something, it's just interesting to find out what are the backgrounds? And do we have any biases towards one or another?

Adam Morgan:

So the majority of creative directors that we found from our survey were designers, which is not surprising, and only 11% were writers. Oh, carpal tunnel syndrome. I was hoping that more writers were higher on the list, but it kind of makes sense. It kind of makes sense. So let's talk about this. Chase, let's get it over to you. You've had a unique path. You started as a photographer and then a prolific writer and a podcast host and kind of business owner. And you're one of the most influential leaders out there in creativity. What are your thoughts on the core skill of a creative leader? Does it matter? Should we put value on one over the other?

Chase Jarvis:

I like the question and I like it because I think our thinking is very narrow and what I'm an advocate of... What is the core skill in creative leadership? It's leading. Now, what does it mean to lead? I am a writer or a filmmaker or... You have to be so many things to lead because the fundamental characteristic of a leader is that you're deciding direction. You're leading. You can sure lead from the back and guide your team. Whatever metaphor you want to throw at this, the core aspect of leadership is leading. And often we confuse management with leadership. The best leaders that I know have a huge range of backgrounds. What is often missed is that whatever the attributes that you have, whatever those are, whether you're a writer or a designer or a knitter or needlepoint, I don't care what your craft is, is if you have the ability to set a vision, if you have an ability to inspire others, if you-

Chase Jarvis:

Have the ability to set a vision. If you have an ability to inspire others, if you have the ability, to get the best out of your team and understand the market and all of these various things that Sue and Santhi have all talked about, that puts you in a position to lead. The choice for you is what do you do with that? And this concept of that, we have to have a specific... I've personally hired hundreds of people, hundreds. And I have hired C-level peoples, chief operating officer, chief people officers, and individual podcast editors. And I've one, never looked at where a single person went to school. So, I know it's probably different if you're trying to get a job at a Fortune 10 company, but I'll tell you the trend, the trend is that is becoming less and less important, where your four year degree is from.

Chase Jarvis:

And what's more and more important is the portfolio of work. And by portfolio, I do not just mean what is in your 20 page hardbound thing, or what is on your website. Your portfolio is an accumulation of skills and experiences, and whether that's fundraising or designing or leading or climbing mountains, this is what it means to accumulate experience because as Sue and Santhi, I'm sure would verify being a leader means being able to solve problems and what you learned in school. I'm sorry. Those are textbook like business school case studies, and then is not the kind of stuff that you're presented with. It is never, do you do the smart, easy thing or the dumb hard thing? It's which hand do you want to cut off? And you do different things with different hands. And so these challenges, nothing in any linear background, whether it's designing or drawing or writing, or even management will prepare you for what it means to be a leader.

Chase Jarvis:

So whoever you are, whatever your background, if you choose to lead start leading, what can you lead? How can you build up your own leadership resume? Start leading at the local design conference or at the community college. These are attributes. These are skills that you can polish and build over time, regardless of the background. The only thing that I want to be very prescriptive of is you do not look at the stats and say, "if I want to be a blank, then I have to do blank." I am a living breathing example. I have the most non-linear. I came from a background in soccer, and then I build on medical school. And then I dropped out of a PhD in Philosophy, to become one of the top commercial photographers in the world. And now I'm an entrepreneur. So that is the most non-linear. And so if anyone's telling you, you have to hit these three milestones or check boxes in order to lead. That's not true. What you need is to cultivate a vision, a bunch of these skills that we're talking about and start leading start tomorrow or better yet today.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah. Right now. And I know, just so everyone knows, like that was a 100% not scripted, but I love it. I'm glad we're recording this a 100%. What I've been hitting on for so long. It's like, I hate people who look at those backgrounds and the biases and be, "Oh, you've got to have this background to be a true creative leader. Otherwise, you're not real." And it's not that at all. I know so many who have been like, an okay art director. Okay, writer. And became an amazing creative director. So [crosstalk 00:35:38] leadership, it's weird. It's tricky, but it's a different skill. Love it. Thank you. Alright. So now, I'm going to move over to something, a question that is for those who are starting out. And I know in this industry, we all want to be the top dog immediately.

Adam Morgan:

So the question is how long does it take to become a creative director? We decided to ask, just to see what the average is? Not to say that's your answer. That's what you have to follow as far as like a timeline, but we thought it would be helpful, at least for people to see, how long does it take to become a CD? And what's the average time to get to something else. So, anyhow, these are the averages, that we've come up with just to give some guidance and not just for those starting out, but if you're a leader and I've got people champing at the bit, all the time, make me a creative director, make me a creative director, make me a creative director. And it's like, well, there are a lot of things you have to learn. And it's not just a matter of just putting in the time or if you're the rock star, you're the next one.

Adam Morgan:

So here's what we found. The average time it took to become a creative director is almost 14 years. And it takes an average of nine more years to reach the role of an executive creative director or something similar. I don't know, chief creative officer or something like that. That's 23 years. Yikes. Santhi, so you've been an ECD and a chief creative officer at multiple companies, but you did it in a much shorter time frame. So what are your thoughts on just setting expectations to someone who's champing at the bit? Does 23 years seem right to you or does it matter? What's your experience?

Xanthe Wells:

I mean, it all depends on where you start and the kind of projects and exposure that you have at an early age. I think for me, I'm a little guilty of I've got to get this all done. I have an urgency that I've had for a long time. And I think, partly due to a tragedy, I lost my dad when I was in art school, studying advertising. And I think, going through that gave me the sense of really life is short and I love what I do. And so it was natural for me to kind of grab as much as I could and throw myself into every single thing I did. I still feel that way, if someone gives me an assignment to do the best placement in the world, I'll put my heart and soul into that.

Xanthe Wells:

And so I think that sped things up because I had that sort of urgency inside me. I think it just depends on readiness and how comfortable and how you adapt to different pathways. And for everyone it's different, but I don't think it needs to take that long. I've been working 17 years and I was a CD probably 10 years in, but I do remember my boss and really only consistent mentor through my whole career. Rob Schwartz, who's the CEO of TBWA, in New York. And he said to me, when he was promoting me from art director to ACD, and he said, look, he's like, "we can promote you, but you don't have to manage people. You can keep doing the work, making stuff." And I said, and he's like, "you're a great doer. You contribute a lot."

Xanthe Wells:

I said, "but Rob, I really want to manage people. I really want to learn how to do this without touching every single thing and being able to give direction verbally and kind of bring people along." So it was definitely a fork in the road and I chose to go up through management. I still obviously did a lot of the work too, but I wanted to build that skill. And I was bad at it at first, really bad at it. And I had to learn, quickly how to do it right. And so I grabbed every single piece of advice I could, as I was coming up that way, learning the soft skills, empathetic leadership, servant leadership, all that stuff. I was just feeding that engine. So I think, it's all based on who you are, and what you want? What drives you? So anyway.

Adam Morgan:

That's great. I think definitely the takeaway is don't worry about the time, whether it happens soon, or it doesn't happen for a long, long time. Don't either beat yourself up or be, too eager. And I think, there is a problem in our industry where so many people feel they're already a CD, that they're already at that level. And they're like, why don't they just give me the title? We did a whole separate session. If you go to Real Creative Leadership, you can listen to that because there's so much more that it's hard to see the perspective I know for me, I had my dark day in December, where I thought, well, I'm an ACD. Why can't I make it up to the top? And it wasn't until later that I actually saw why, because I didn't have certain leadership skills and qualities that I just was blind to.

Adam Morgan:

So anyhow, more on that. We're not going to dig deep into how to become a CD, but we have more content on it, but your answer was perfect. Thank you so much. But you brought up two things. So one thing that Chase brought up, and one thing that Sue brought up is education. And that's what we're going to talk about next, is education and mentorship. I think those are two critical topics. So when we researched and we, went out there and did our study with, hundreds of creative leaders, we had a pretty educated group. 80% of them had some sort of a degree in higher education. So they were an educated group, but here's the twist. The leading factor that creative leaders said help them prepare for their role. The most, was not formal education surprise. Instead, the number one factor was being self-taught through books and online classes.

Adam Morgan:

I'm sure Chase for you. This is like, of course, I already knew this is a truth. So maybe, let's talk first about being self-taught and then I'll move on to mentorship. But clearly, what are the insights that you discovered as you were building this online platform for people to self-teach themselves and become creative leaders?

Chase Jarvis:

Yeah, well, I've spent the last 10 years of my life focused specifically in this area. So it's nothing new to me, but I do believe that we all know the answer and the answer is just experience. And the reality is that what school or formal education often does is it sets you up for... There's a disconnect, between school and real life experience. And that's not to diminish education to be very clear, I bought CreativeLive, not because I didn't think that for your institution or what you had in school or a trade organization where any more or less important, but what was, I think fundamental to experience is doing. And there's so much in education, which is lean back. And that is one of the reasons that mentorship is so valuable, is because you get to learn, not from people who are great at pedagogy or standing in front of you and lecturing you about, case studies and about an experience that someone else that they'd read a study that did versus someone who's actually done the work and I think I have a pretty broad definition of what it means to learn.

Chase Jarvis:

And we can learn something from a tweet or we can learn something from a panel like this, but there's very little that can replicate the doing part, which is why I'm an advocate of throwing yourself into creative challenges, whether it's building a business like, Sue and Santhi both talked about, or the craft, at the end of the day, what craft ends up being is the get in the door right now. And to be very clear, it's like, you have to be great at your craft, whatever it is. I don't care if again, whatever line of work you're in, whether you're a dentist or an art director, being great at your craft, what you have been told and what school I think unintentionally reinforces, is that craft will define whether you succeed or not. And what I've found is that craft being good at the thing, that's the get in the door for you. When you are... I made the professional golf analogy earlier.

Chase Jarvis:

All of those golfers are incredible. What separates them is all of the stuff that is besides the golf. It's the mentality, it's the hunger, it's the passion, it's the willingness to engage. It's the effort, and acknowledging that we all come from all kinds of different backgrounds and there's tons of privilege built into one person's background over another, this idea of taking your unique set of attributes and pushing them through doing actual work that transcends just designing and transcends, just writing to living this full experience and to connecting with other people in the community. That's really what mentorship is about. It's connecting with someone who's already solved these problems, or has been through a lot of the same things that you are going through or about to go through.

Chase Jarvis:

So to me, it's a very full and rich picture versus when we talk about learning, we usually couch it in a classroom, with the teacher standing in front of a group of people. That is why I think mentorship, online learning, books, all those things are mentorship at scale, ultimately.

Adam Morgan:

Yeah.

Chase Jarvis:

Right? If you read a book written by an author, then what you're getting is 20 something years of their arc from being designer to, ACD, to CD, to ECD, you get that entire arc and you start to realize, if you look under the covers of anyone's story, you find out that it is rife with pitfalls, and it's two steps forward one step back. And to me, that's learning, that is the experience that we're trying to cultivate at CreativeLive and encourage you to learn through forums like this, that you've created here. I'm sorry, I'm a little bit passionate, a little bit fired up about it.

Adam Morgan:

I figured.

Chase Jarvis:

But it's to me, the definitions that we have around learning and school and education, I think, they often do us wrong. So I'm hoping to change that.

Adam Morgan:

That's good.

Chase Jarvis:

I'm curious what Sue and Santhi had to say about it, but.

Adam Morgan:

Well, I also want to get into mentorship too. I love your comment of, reading a book is like getting a mentor. it's just that scale. There really is something that I see all the time. If you want to lead, you have to read a 100%. You can tell, I have lots of books behind me. I care about that passionately, but there a lot of people have been asking about this topic of mentorship, because it's really tricky. How do you find one? So Sue, why don't you jump in and just talk about mentorship? How do we figure that out? And I know there's not a perfect answer, but maybe just some good advice where to start.

Sue Boivin:

Yeah. I'm just reading about, only 30% of creative leaders are getting help from a mentor. And unfortunately, I really believe that statistic and because mentorship takes time and investment, it also takes consistency and more than anything opportunity. And in this business, it's fast paced and in every minute everything changes. So you have to find someone who not only knows about the business, but who can also impart knowledge of not just on a creative, but just all aspects of leadership. And that's, sometimes hard to find. In my experience, it's not something that's been top of mind in our industry. And it really should, because there's so much that, we've all learned by experience that we can impart. But, in order for us to be able to do that, there has to be... We have to have time. We have to have the opportunity to take somebody and mentor them. And that's, kind of hard.

Sue Boivin:

But I think in my own experience, I've learned from managers that I've admired and that I have wanted to be like, and I've also learned from those who I do not want to emulate. So, the good and the bad, you leave the bad, you go with the good, you really do learn as you go. Like I said, I didn't have a mentor, but I had great people to learn from in amongst my different positions and my different places of work. I've recently had conversations though on this subject with other people in other industries. And it's apparent that in other industries, there are mentorship programs.

Sue Boivin:

Apparent, that in other industries, there are mentorship programs. And someone I've recently talked to has had seven mentors throughout their career and a 20 year career. And so during their career, they've pulled in certain mentors on certain subjects in order for them to help them with their career path. And I think that is amazing thing to do if you can do it. It's made a huge difference in how they've managed their entire life because mentorship also I think encompasses coaching and encompasses and imparting general knowledge as well.

Sue Boivin:

So if you can, as a leader, I like to encourage everyone on my team to find a mentor. It's a topic I'm kind of passionate about and I'm still learning about as well, but I encourage leaders to take coaching courses and management courses. And I think the thing you learn about as you take these courses is self-awareness and how you show up as a leader is important to the success of your team. So not only are you learning how to mentor, but you're really learning about yourself as well. And I think that's always great.

Sue Boivin:

Funnily enough, Microsoft was the first company that I worked for that really encouraged mentorship. And it was one of the managers tasks to find mentors for their teammates and team members. And it was a really big part of building your career at Microsoft. And there's the thing that I learned that is not just about mentoring top down. There's a thing called reverse mentorship. And that is mentoring from bottom up. So people new to the business coming in would be [inaudible 00:49:58] to somebody a little older who'd been at Microsoft maybe for 10, 20 years. And they would mentor the older person. And that was so successful because it really had this great cross-pollination of different experiences, different cultures, different backgrounds, and different knowledge. And I thought that was a really, really interesting aspect of mentorship, but yeah, I totally... If you can find that right person, I would totally latch on to that.

Sue Boivin:

I also think that look to mentorship programs, coaching programs, I think those are really great areas to start as well.

Adam Morgan:

That's awesome.

Xanthe Wells:

Wow, just to add a few things there because a lot of people in the chat seems like they want sort of practical advice on how to get a mentor and how to make it valuable. I've had a variety of experiences. People will approach me after a conference or blind on email or LinkedIn. And I think the most important thing when you're looking for a mentor is, don't be just looking for a mentor broadly, look for a specific person and focus on that person, have an agenda. That's the time when you should have an agenda. You should send them the agenda of all the questions you want to ask them while you have their ear be prepared and make it useful on a dialogue, be vulnerable.

Xanthe Wells:

A lot of times I'll get a mentee who is like, "I got this all figured out." I'm like, "Then you don't need me." You should come to me with the things that you're really trying to work on, that you might only tell your boyfriend or your girlfriend or things that you are really struggling with that and I can try to help and then ask me the deep questions. Ask me the things that you're scared to ask, because that's the only way we're going to build value is if I can unlock some things also and go with you back to where I was at those times. And like someone in the chat also said, add value to your mentor's life. I think it was Amy. You take tremendous pride in your mentees.

Xanthe Wells:

You talk about them with your friends, I talk about them with my parents. People that I mentored through my career are more important than the campaigns I've done because I'm like, "Look at them." My friend Halena is now a creative director was just a creative director at [72 00:52:08] and she's brilliant and she did amazing. And I love to talk about her. So that's a tremendous source of pride and really rejuvenating when you can look at those people and go, "I helped do that."

Chase Jarvis:

Adam, I'm aware of our time constraints here. I just want to jump in because I think what Sue and [Xanthe 00:52:27] are saying is so valuable. And for someone right now, whether you're in the chat or you're watching this a year from now, you're saying to yourself, probably like, "I don't know any people. How do I get a mentor?" And what I want to discourage is this, like the only the path of a formal mentorship, because I get asked if someone will mentor me about a 100 times a week and I basically have to say no. Sue talked about someone who had seven mentors in their career, and those are sort of formal. I have seven mentors right now in every different aspect of my life. Like Xanthe said, like people who are great at one thing or another, this relationship does not have to be formal.

Chase Jarvis:

You do not have to request and then be granted that you have a mentor mentee relationship, because this is so loaded. There's so much effort and concept around that. If I can give someone in my text community who I text with a thousand people, if I can give them a piece of advice that will save them six months going down a track, that's not the right track for them because of an experience that I've had, or I know someone can connect them... we under estimate the value of just information from people who've forged this path before us. So this concept of mentorship doesn't have to be so loaded and so heavy-weight that it stops you from action. This is why community is so critical.

Chase Jarvis:

This is why things like this are valuable. This is why going outside having a digital community and a physical community when we can do so safely. These are huge attributes of being a successful leader in anything, especially in creativity, because it's so dynamic. So I just want to underscore that, that don't... if you start placing too much weight on this you're doing it wrong. Well, you need to start doing is learning from a bunch of different people who've done the things that you want to do before you've done it and can save you time.

Adam Morgan:

I love it. This has been... Yes, we've skipped a lot of questions and we're going to cut to the end here now, but this was well worth it, this topic. I think that the idea of all of the books you read, all of the communities you're a part of, that is so fantastic and such great advice. So thank you all for jumping on that one. And we're just going to jump to one last question. We're going to talk about the future, because this is really interesting for those who are already pretty deep in a career. When we talk to creative leaders about what's the next role, what's the next step you would think like the natural progression for most of us would be, "Oh, I want to move up to the next... my boss, who's the CMO for many creative leaders.

Adam Morgan:

Leading the brand, leading the marketing, but that's not necessarily the case. In fact, when we did the research, choosing the next step as CMO was fourth on the list, dead even with just staying a credit director. So rather the top roles that creative leaders want is CEO. They want the top spot, which is interesting. I mean, that's exactly what Chase has done. And almost half the creative leader said that the end of their career, they don't even want to stick around at their job, which is shocking. They want to start their own business or go and do something else. If you count like 75% of creative leaders were seeking to move beyond their traditional creative role. And I think that's just interesting in this whole talk here of, for those who stick it out that's really interesting, but really we're talking about creativity is more than just that specific role.

Adam Morgan:

It's moving on to so many bigger and greater things. And I am super passionate about this because I feel like we are cutting ourselves short as creative leaders in this world. And we're always thinking, "Oh no, I just got to be a senior designer, a creative director in that and then call it quit and then go off and do freelance because I want to get back to the craft." Which is great, but the world needs more creative leaders. We need to start driving business. We need to drive where the zeitgeists of businesses going and not just focusing just on our craft or our portfolio.

Adam Morgan:

So I feel like there is a huge next step for a lot of us as creative leaders. And how do we get there? So let's just, each of you take in a lightning round, what are your thoughts on taking next steps? What kind of roles should we consider? Should we be CEOs like Chase and be entrepreneurs? Should be we... Whatever it doesn't matter. I just love to hear your thoughts on taking the next step. So we'll start with Sue and then we'll go to Chase and Xanthe.

Sue Boivin:

I think it's a good goal, I think CMO or I prefer CCO, Chief Creative Officer, because I've known a lot of creative directors have come back to school to get their MBA so they have a bigger voice in a seat at the table. And I love hearing that 63% of boards have creative leaders on them. And I think that there's a real opportunity there. And I think CCO would be a great sort of career path. Plus you can blaze a trail for other creatives to take that career path. And I think that, that's something that is really, really great. It also gives me hope because with that 67%, it means that companies really have an understanding how their brand shows up and how their brand presents and how key it is, their growth and their competitiveness.

Sue Boivin:

So I think I'm all for it. I think, yes, it's a great [inaudible 00:09:22].

Adam Morgan:

We need more creatives on the board of directors. I love that. Not just operations and finance. Okay. Next Chase.

Chase Jarvis:

I think that I'm not the right person to ask about moving up within a large company. I've never been one. And I think Sue and Xanthe are both highly qualified, so you should pay attention to them. What I will leave you with is there is nothing that can replace mastery in one thing, because once you have mastered something and I don't care what it is, needle point, engine rebuilding, doesn't matter if you are so extremely proficient and if you have to ask if you've mastered something, you haven't. Going so deep on something is such a valuable characteristic that when you mastered something, what you understand is the concept of mastery and your ability to apply it to other things.

Chase Jarvis:

So whether you go deep as a photographer, and then you can understand what it would mean to be a CMO or a CCO, you understand the ecosystem of who might I contact? What schools may I attend? What conferences who can mentor me? These are... it's a 360 degree thinking that you can only get if you've gone deep, but again, do as they say not as I do. I don't know.

Adam Morgan:

Well, that's the perspective it was, you don't have to do that, there are other paths. That's great. And I love this. When you're good at one thing, it's easy enough to crack the next thing and apply your learning to other thing.

Chase Jarvis:

Yeah, it's the act of learning, how you learn, not how everyone learns because your background and all your unique qualifiers and the obstacles that you've had in your life. Those are huge wins and attributes that you should double down on. That's what makes you unique now. Again moving up within a large company, you should definitely ignore my advice and listen to Sue and Xanthe. But I do believe that what you bring to the table is uniquely you and that's where a lot of value exists.

Adam Morgan:

Cool. All right. So Xanthe.

Xanthe Wells:

Oh, okay. One minute. I think it really depends on who you are. And as I've grown in this career, it's really looking on a deep level at what you're truly good at and what you like to do. Because for me, I don't think CEO is where I want to be. I could see being president of a small agency. I could see myself designing wine bottle labels and Sonoma. I just... there's any building a business again, I would love to do, but I'm still looking and asking what's next? CMO isn't particularly inviting for me, but it's all personal. It's what you feel you'd be happiest doing and have the largest impact. So I think it's really introspective journey.

Adam Morgan:

That's awesome. Well, thank you all for sharing that. If everyone could just hang on for just a few minutes more, we're just going to conclude here. I want to first... We've had a great discussion. Thank you personally, to all three of you for joining us on the show, it's been fantastic, but we want to make sure everyone gets a chance to just really follow up and learn more about each of us and subscribe to what we're passionate about. So just everyone, if you can give us a quick... Where can we find you? Where can we follow you? Where can we have you as a mentor or say on the social channels or whatever it may be. So Chase and then Xanthe and then Sue, just tell us how people can stay in touch with you.

Chase Jarvis:

I'm /chasejarvis everywhere on the internet. I've got one second here. I got a book that I feel like I've put my heart and soul in. It's the best selling book in creativity. Check that out. And creative live is a great place. It's where more than 10 million people learn from the top creators and entrepreneurs in the world.

Adam Morgan:

Awesome, Xanthe.

Xanthe Wells:

LinkedIn hit me up on LinkedIn and then I'll quickly take you to email cause I get lost in LinkedIn sometimes.

Adam Morgan:

So true. So true. All right, Sue,

Sue Boivin:

Same LinkedIn. I'm an introvert. So my Twitter and my Instagram, my Facebook are private, but LinkedIn I'm all over that. So yeah, hit me up on LinkedIn.

Adam Morgan:

Awesome. Well thank you. And for me, you can always join here @realcreativeleadership.com or if you want to know more about my articles or my book or speaking gigs, it's Adamwmorgan.com and then otherwise, yeah. YouTube or your favorite podcast for Real Creative Leadership. That's what we're building. Again thank you to our producers and strategy partners at the Stoke Group. Real Creative Leadership would not exist without them. Thank you. Thank you. If you need help sharing your brand story, visit them @thestokegroup.com and learn how they can help you with your projects and your clients.

Adam Morgan:

As always, if you miss something, you can read the show notes at the RCL website, please visit us at our website or our YouTube channel or your favorite podcast platform. And here's our only ask for hanging out with us today is just please go to those platforms, subscribe, give us a thumbs up. Good rating review, whatever it is, we need the feedback so we can improve and stay motivated to keep this show going. So I appreciate your engagement. We encourage you to connect, engage with all of us. That's why we gave you that information.

Adam Morgan:

We all want to make a dent in this universe and it takes working together to get there. So that's it for today. Thank you so much personally, for joining us for behind the scenes with these world-class creative leaders, this has been a special edition of Real Creative Leadership. We'll catch you all next time.

Speaker 1:

Thanks Adam. Thanks everyone.

Adam Morgan:

Thanks for listening to Real Creative Leadership. I'm your host, Adam Morgan. And this series was brought to you by the Stoke Group. For the most effective marketing, use both sides of your brain to align your strategy, creative execution and analysis. Connect with the Stoke Group for help designing each step of your marketing plan and creating a coherent vision. Visit the stokegroup.com to learn more.