Leadership in creative industries: 10 things we learned at #Quantum16

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Tracey Armstrong (President and CEO, Copyright Clearance Center), Harriet Minter (Editor, the Guardian’s Women in Leadership section), Shereen Kreideih (Publisher, Asala Publishers) and Robbie Steinhouse (Director, NLP School) formed the panel to discuss leadership in creative industries. Here are our top 10 takeaway points.

1) The difference between management and leadership: management gets stuff done, leadership makes things happen.

2) Stop quoting Henry Ford. We’ve brought up leaders in one culture, and have rewarded them for conforming to that culture. Leadership needs to be more diverse and a good leader will listen to differing opinions.

3) Creatives love their jobs, but this doesn’t necessarily prepare them for finances and leadership. What you don’t like and can’t do are different – don’t confuse the two.

4) Vision and leadership is something that can be taught; you don’t have to be a ‘natural’ leader to be a great one. Some of the greatest leaders have been introverts – you just need to work hard to acquire the skills that you need.

5) People have bad associations with ‘boss energy’. But these character traits don’t always make you a bad leader.

6) Give your team freedom and responsibility. Things don’t always work out, but a good leader will focus on what does and build on these.

7) A leader shouldn’t have to be able to their team’s jobs, but they should be teaching them how to do theirs. It’s all about what’s good for the company: know when to step down as a leader and prepare others to take your place.

8) A good leader will always keep learning.

9) There are different types of leaders that best fit different situations. A company going through a merger would require a completely different type of leader to one that’s going through a period of stability.

10) It’s about inspiring a shared vision. If your team come with you on the journey, then you’re doing well.

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