Business Politics & Society

How To Be A Creative Leader

Authored by Anna Wintour

Vogue Editor-In-Chief

Leading a creative team requires a strong vision, the ability to make difficult decisions, and the willingness to take full responsibility for them. It’s a challenging but rewarding role that can be made easier by following these management techniques established by Anna Wintour during her career at Vogue and Condé Nast.

Part 1 of 11

Surround yourself with a diverse team

You’re nothing without a good team, and a diverse group in terms of backgrounds, ages, and opinions can offer a point of view that you haven’t considered before. Everyone has blind spots, and a diverse team will be able to cover yours.

Did you know?

Somewhat hypocritically, Wintour was recently forced to admit that Vogue “has not found enough ways to elevate and give space to Black editors, writers, photographers, designers, and other creators,” and she’s taken full responsibility for “publishing images or stories that have been hurtful or intolerant.”

Part 2 of 11

Work with the passionate ones

Look for the self-starters who care passionately about the world they’re about to enter, not the ones who see this as a stepping-stone toward something else.

Did you know?

If your employee is passionate about a certain project, give it to them! Their conviction and love will show through in their work.

Part 3 of 11

Develop a daily schedule that works for you, and stick to it

Keeping a consistent schedule means you’ll be able to focus on specific tasks at a time, and your team will have a better idea of your availability.

Part 4 of 11

Micromanaging is never in fashion

Empower those who are working with you to make their own creative and leadership decisions. They’ll work much more effectively if they’re encouraged to be self-starters.

Part 5 of 11

Hold meetings in a way that benefits you and your team

While Anna Wintour prefers informal meetings with only one or two people, she also holds larger meetings every week. This way everyone has the opportunity to join the conversation, ask questions, and voice their opinions.

Part 6 of 11

Be prompt and direct with your feedback

Keep the momentum going by giving feedback in as quick a time frame as possible. Nobody works well in a slow and lazy atmosphere, and delayed feedback will affect your team’s confidence and energy. Make sure your feedback is direct—any vague or indecisive wording can be frustrating to your team.

Part 7 of 11

Give a reason when you say no, then move on

Saying “no” to something might not be pleasant, but it eliminates any lingering hopes or uncertainty that can be kindled from a “Well, maybe…” response. Give a reason for your decision—being careful not to overexplain—and then decisively continue to the next issue.

Part 8 of 11

Give credit to your team

It’s one thing to acknowledge the success of the things you’ve achieved, but it’s another to readily give credit to those who’ve worked with you to make them possible.

Part 9 of 11

Listen to criticism, but don’t let it cloud your judgment

You can’t be everything to everybody, and you’ll doubtlessly receive criticism from people who don’t agree with you. Listen to what they have to say and learn from it, but always remain true to your vision.

Part 10 of 11

Seek new ways to reach your audience

With multiple platforms at your disposal, it will take your creative leadership to determine how to use them most effectively. It’s naive to think you only have one type of customer who only wants to be spoken to in one way or medium, so think of how your voice can be used differently for each platform.

Part 11 of 11

Take on the bigger issues

As a leader, you have a responsibility to give back to the world and to highlight the issues that are important to your industry and audience, whether it’s the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements relating to fashion models or fighting the HIV/AIDS crisis with an event like the Seventh on Sale gala. No matter your personal politics, stand up for what you believe is right and engage with these issues in a thoughtful way.

masterWiki is
MSCHF Drop #27
is MSCHF Drop #27