February 28, 2011

Can I surmount this next wave?

Aside from all the life drama, a week ago one of our clients came to us and asked us to show them what we'd do with a sky's the limit solution for their booth. Not so much in terms of them giving us much extra money, but in terms of a new concept. Somehow I'm now the creative lead on this project! I'm pulling together a team in Austral1a, two teams in LA, and a designer from our Detr0it office. The client has mandated that we work well with two other vendors, one of whom is a direct competitor. I'm leading brainstorms between our b00th designers and our strateg1st and they DON'T speak the same language so I'm trying to translate while barely understanding myself.

Aaagh! I have support, but we're also being watched by many people in the company. It's an amazing opportunity and there's a lot of pressure. I'm trying to just focus on what I know to do each day and take it from there. I totally can't see how we'll get there from here (right now it all feels like chaos). I've seen other creative directors who come in and have The Vision and can steer the team. I've never seen myself as that person, I'm good at making it look good once someone else gets the big concept, but now I have to figure something out.

Sigh. I'm going to head home and try to do some sketching and brainstorming so that I'm more coherent tomorrow than I was today. This is rough...it's a great challenge, but I'm already exhausted and we have two weeks to go.

Sometimes though it's about being the decider and acting confident so that others feel safe. Part of me is hoping someone will come in and rescue me and part of me wants to see how I survive and triumph.

I'm going to try to navigate this wave without drowning, but we'll see!


Mizasiwa said...

good luck im keeping you in my thoughts...

Anonymous said...

The short answer is that you can and you will, even if thereis some bruising in the process. Been there on there on the big booth thing! Not with competitors, but wit a load of S/w vendors wjho werent sure abou this new product -I ended up as a 1 woman sales whirlwind, calling them up ad asking for them to come in and join the party. I think that your considered way of doing things will overcome competitiveness, (I sure hope it does) as every one takes pride in the outcome. Keep the key messages in front of mind at all times, keep your core team entirely updated throughout and you will find that the team wants you to succeed, because they will too.

Looking forward to your updates on this. And you are right about the calm part; I, who can flap, had to really watch that part of my behaviour and it made a big difference overall.

Jack said...

You're right about radiating confidence. You have to do that so your team feels secure. Being an effective manager is a tough improv role; it is an act.

I can remember at Sign of the Cross Housing, again and again my skilled work crew would tell me something could not be done, and I'd tell them it could -- even though I didn't yet know how.

I kept in mind the children's game of pick-up-sticks. When you're seven and you see that big pile of sticks, you think it's impossible. Then you see one stick has rolled off by itself. You take it. You see a second stick leaning on the pile. You use the first stick to flip it free. And so you keep working. By and by you discover that you're taking apart the whole pile.

It works. Start with doing what you know you can do, and keep working at the problem.

Rely on the Holy Spirit. As you sense nudges, pay attention to them. For example, little things that bother you or please you are important. Focus on them, and the concept may grow generically.

Blessings on this opportunity you're getting.

Inkling said...

Hearing you talk about your job in this way makes me wish it were possible to hire you as a consultant for life. =) You've got so much wisdom, and I bet your team sees that even in the midst of what feels like chaos currently.

Thanks for your wisdom and thought provoking comments lately. I'm glad Dallas has internet so the wisdom can keep rolling in. ;)

Aimee said...

You can do it! It might seem impossible in some ways, but it can be done. I pray you see things when no one else can, kind of like a football player sees a hole opening before it actually does.

Congrats on making a decision! I hope Dallas is fully of wonderful, unexpected surprises for you.

BTW, the Bible won. I fell behind and quit. There was too much Life Stuff going on. Grandma in hospital, me the only local one, so I'm there almost all the time. Then, gallbladder surgery for me. Too much. I usually pick up here and there, but would like to get through the entire thing cover to cover, just once. :-)