Adam’s New Framework for Building Your Creative Career
Here’s your blueprint for
a successful and satisfying
creative career.

Real Creative Leadership is a video, podcast, and community where host Adam Morgan gives real-world advice on how to succeed as a creative leader — especially after you get a seat at the leadership table.

In this introduction to Season 2, Adam introduces a curriculum designed to help you build the skills, relationships, and processes that lead to more impactful career success. 

Watch this special mini-episode to learn:

  • The 7 types of skills you need to accelerate your career, build your team, and grow your business 
  • What to expect in Season 2 
  • How to contact Adam with your creative leadership questions
mentioned in this show:
adammorgan
Adam Morgan
Executive Creative Director Adobe
stoke-logo
The Stoke Group
Digital Marketing and Full-Service Content Agency

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Transcript

Adam Morgan:

Hello and welcome to Real Creative Leadership. We are beginning Season 2. This is the first episode. I'm so excited. Thank you to everyone who joined us for Season 1. I think we had a good dozen episodes under our belt and we learned a lot, and it was a great journey. And, I'm super grateful for anyone who watched any of those episodes, but I'm also really excited for Season 2. We have a new...not a new format. The format of the show is still going to be the same. We're going to have one episode where I talk about a topic and really dig in deep, and then we'll bring a guest onto the show for the next episode. Some other creative leader from a big company, or an agency, or somewhere around the world that has real-world lived experience, and we're going to walk through their journey.

Adam Morgan:

But we're going to try something different this season. First, let me explain for those who do not know what Real Creative Leadership is, if you're joining for the first time. Real Creative Leadership is a video, podcast, and community where we give real-world advice 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 leaders so that together, we can make a bigger creative dent in this universe.

Adam Morgan:

So I'm your host, Adam Morgan, executive creative director at Adobe. And this show is produced by the Stoke Group. They're a full-service, global digital marketing content creation agency. They've got offices in Salt Lake City, L.A., San Francisco, Boston, and New York. And they're awesome, they're a great partner.

Adam Morgan:

But let's get into...This episode today is just going to be a taste of what Season 2 is going to be about. I wanted to walk you through what our plans are, what I've got coming up, and what I've been thinking about over the holiday break. And, here's the truth. Last season, it was really an intro. There were a lot of different topics that we discussed, and had some great feedback. I appreciate all of the input, and the engagement, and the feedback from everyone. I thought it was awesome. But as I was thinking about it over the break, of, what could we do different for Season 2, I really came down to this idea that there's something about watching a show and just getting rando thoughts here and there, and topics here and there. But there's something about having a curriculum. Something about having a program or a plan in place, so that those of you who are listening from episode to episode really understand that things build on each other.

Adam Morgan:

One of my goals of Real Creative Leadership was that there really isn't a, what would you call it, a manual or a guide for being a creative leader. There's not somewhere where you can just go and look at the checklist and say, "Yep, I'm doing all that, I've got this handled." It doesn't exist. And that's really what Real Creative Leadership, and to be honest, beyond that, some books that I'm working on based on all of this content.

Adam Morgan:

But I really thought maybe it would be a good idea for Season 2, to really lay down a plan for the future. And so that's what I've done. I've created a curriculum, and I've broken it up into a half dozen categories. And really what I'm going to do is walk through different steps, and different milestones, and different categories of being a creative leader. And with this curriculum, I'm also going to have an outline, and with Stoke, we're going to have it on the website, so you can go and look and see what the curriculum is going to be, what are all the different categories, what are all the subtopics in each of those categories? And there's going to be a lot. In listening to all the feedback from everyone and just going through my lived experience and all of my journey as being a creative director, up to a creative leader, there's just so many things that you do, so many things you have to learn about.

Adam Morgan:

And so, we're going to put that curriculum on the website. You can go to realcreativeleadership.com and find it, and you can see everything that we're going to talk about. So let me just give you a taste of the categories that we're going to talk about. Excuse me.

Adam Morgan:

So, it's almost like there's going to be a journey. It's a building. So I'm going to use the term “build” a lot, but there's really, use whatever verb you want. But it's going to start with building your skills. The first thing you have to do is develop yourself. And we're talking hard skills, soft skills, all of the talent that you need to focus on and build up, before you go out in the world. So that's Step 1, build your skills.

Adam Morgan:

The next step is build your career. And that's all about marketing yourself. Once you have those skills, how do you go in the world and say, "Hey, world, look at me, check me out. I've got the skills." So, building your career is the second part. And there is a lot of content on...people want to know, "Where do I go? How do I do this? How do I take the next step? How do I go sideways?" All of that stuff in a creative career, we're going to talk about in building your career.

Adam Morgan:

All right. The third category is building your team. And that's really all about managing people. That's really the act of, "How am I going to be a creative director over a team of designers, or writers, or videographers? How am I going to help motivate them? How am I going to guide them?" Because creative people are different, and they require a different management skill. And so, that whole category about managing people, it's all going to be about how do you help, and grow, and build a team?

Adam Morgan:

The next one we're calling, build the machine. And that's really about managing process. I've talked before on this show and many other times, that once you become a creative leader, it's no longer just about the craft or managing people. We're going to get that taken care of in the earlier topics. But then you move on to managing the process. And there's so much involved in that. From, how do you intake jobs? How do you manage all the jobs? How do you balance the workload? How do you make sure that all the rails are on, and the environment is built, and everything is made so that your creative team has the best chance at success? That's building the creative machine and managing all of that process.

Adam Morgan:

The next step, building relationships. And really this is all about building and creating partnerships. This is managing sideways. So it's finding all of those other allies at the companies you work with, at, or other teammates or other people who are not necessarily creative, who are going to help you, and you're going to work together to create something awesome. This will be strategists, and marketers, and all the other people that you need to team up with in order to create awesome creative ideas.

Adam Morgan:

The next step after that, is building leadership. And this is really about managing up. This is, how do you talk to the leadership team? How do you present ideas and vision, and how do you get things moving so that you actually have the ability to build all this other stuff below in the machine, and the people, and all that? You need to understand strategy, and you understand business strategy and marketing strategy, and there are a lot of skills and things involved with managing up, in order to get your creative vision and make sure it happens.

Adam Morgan:

And then finally, the last step is really building your company, or what I like to say is creating culture. It's really building that broader vision, so it's no longer just about your team, and you selling, and you getting your things in place, but it's, how are you going to influence the bigger world? How are you going to make sure that your business is a creative powerhouse? How are you going to make sure your industry is amazing? It's all of that stuff that's above and beyond, how you're going to make a dent in the world. That's what building your company is all about.

Adam Morgan:

Okay, so that's the idea. That's the curriculum, that's the basic bones of the plan. So, like I said before, here's the plan. I'm going to do an episode, and I'm not necessarily going to go, the first 10 episodes are not all going to be in that first category, because then you could be totally bored and you'd be like, "Oh, I'll never make it to the last one, and I'm really interested in the last one." So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to take those categories, and I'm just going to pick one or two from each of those categories to get through Season 2. So by the end of this year, if we've done 20 episodes, I'll have a couple from each of those categories as we move along.

Adam Morgan:

And then in Season 3, we'll do a couple more of those categories, a couple more episodes in each of those categories, until we get through the whole curriculum. And the good thing is, you can go on the website, Real Creative Leadership, and you can check out upcoming shows, you can see which topics are coming up. And I may only lock in the first, maybe I'll only lock in the first five or six episodes, and then get feedback from you if you'd rather have a different topic. So I'll have a highlight where you can say, "Okay, I know what episode is coming up for Episode 15." And you could give some feedback and say, "How about you try this other one on your list rather than that?" And if we get enough feedback, I'll definitely switch it up. That's totally fine.

Adam Morgan:

But anyhow, that's the format of the show. We're going to follow a curriculum. That way, you feel like after you've listened to Season 2, and Season 3, and Season 4, you've gotten that user manual. You've gotten the guidance that you need to become a creative leader. And it may be a little bit more about a curriculum and formulaic, but at least you can see what the topics are, how they all fit together, and how it stitches into a greater good. So that's the plan. Again, we'll have still, probably two episodes a month is where I'm working, and we'll go from there.

Adam Morgan:

The last thing I wanted to add is there are a few other little elements that I want to add to the show this season that is different from last season. And one of them is your questions. So on our website, Real Creative Leadership, there's a section called Ask Admo. And so far, many of you have been asking questions and I've just been responding by email personally, or adjusting the plans moving forward. If there are certain topics where you're like, "Please, please touch on this topic." But in that, on the website, I'm just going to take some of those questions, and every episode, if I can, I'm going to answer one of those questions on the air, because it may help other people. It's not just one person that may have that question.

Adam Morgan:

So if you have any burning questions or certain specific things, especially if they relate to upcoming sessions, please, please, please get on the website, Real Creative Leadership, and drop me a line and just say, "Here's my question. Here's what, the specifics of it," and then I'll try to address one question per show so that we can get a little more broad experience shared on the show as well.

Adam Morgan:

Anyhow, thank you so much. That's it. This is just a quick episode just to kick off the season, let you know what's going on. Again, if you want to contact me, you can contact me at askadmo@gmail.com. You can go to my website, AdamWMorgan.com and check out info on my book, or on articles that I write, or even more details on the show. Again, the show is realcreativeleadership.com. You can watch it there, you can go to our YouTube Channel for Real Creative Leadership, or your favorite podcast platform. We publish this in all formats, video and audio. And if you want to get a hold of the Stoke Group, you can go to thestokegroup.com. Thestokegroup.com. If you are looking for help, for an awesome agency, or help producing your own show, or anything you need to get done, check it out. And I appreciate all the help from The Stoke Group to get these episodes made. And as always, if you missed anything, you can go to the show notes. Every episode we have the show notes on real creativeleadership.com. Visit us on our website, any channel, whatever it is.

Adam Morgan:

And here's the big ask, please, please give us the feedback, ask the questions, subscribe, give us a rating, a thumbs up. Whatever you need to do, we appreciate all of the feedback. It helps give me the motivation to keep going. And even some of your personal notes. I've gotten some awesome personal notes from some of you on why this has been super helpful, and that makes a big difference for me. Gives me the motivation to keep going and not putting this stuff out into the world just for funsies. So, thank you, thank you for the feedback, and please keep it coming.

Adam Morgan:

So, thank you so much. Welcome to Season 2. I'm excited to go on this journey with you, and to hear all your comments and to try this new curriculum thing. I think it's pretty exciting, and at least you'll know there's a reason to listen from episode to episode. It's not just rando Episode 1, rando Episode 2, but there's something building here, something bigger that we can learn together. So thank you so much, and we'll see you next episode.