October 11, 2023

Maintaining creativity

in leadership

Hi Zooliners,

We’ve all heard the line “do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life”, but is that really true? For Tom, it’s not only true, it’s the mantra he swears by for creative leadership and what he’s written about for his  latest Forbes piece How to stay creative as a leader. But before we start telling you all the ways in which he succeeds, let’s start from a place of honesty first, shall we?  

Did you know that on top of being our founder and CEO, Tom is also sometimes our pitch designer, our website builder, our event planner, our accountant, our whatever-else-needs-to-get-done-that-day doer? Oh, and he’s also a father to two kids (and a dog), husband to one, son, brother, uncle… You get the picture. Does he dream of sneaking off to South America and leaving it all behind? Apparently. But we’re so glad he hasn’t. About a year ago, Tom started biking in the mornings through the woods and surrounding lakes of Potsdam. These moments of solitude and physical activity have turned into his own little creative sanctuary. It untangles his mind and lets his ideas roam as free as he feels.

As Tom’s career grew and he climbed the ranks, he found his role became less creative and instead more administrative. Sound familiar? His good fortune lies in the fact that he doesn’t merely perceive his job as work and he adheres to the wisdom passed down by several Nobel laureates – if you're having fun, it won't feel like work.

Time with us, his team, also helps him recharge while keeping the creative juices flowing. We’re always looking for new ways to brainstorm and get out of our own comfort zones. Recently, while working on a pitch for a new crime series, we had the idea to do one of those murder mystery games over dinner one evening. We dressed up, assumed our characters, and threw ourselves into an evening of accusations, alibis, and side eyes. It inspired a whole new set of ideas and guess what? We just might have some very exciting news coming soon… so stay tuned!

Tom is also a preacher of the self-taught gospel. At times that has meant building on his knowledge of post-production programs like Final Cut or DaVinci. When we decided to rebrand and relaunch our website a year ago, we weighed the option of doing it inhouse or hiring a designer. In the end, Tom, yes Tom as in our CEO, decided he wanted to do it himself. He taught himself Webflow and voilà. Did we cry, “Don’t bother yourself with these tasks, focus on networking, or getting new clients,”? Yes. But, we also understand that he needs these things sometimes.

Creativity breeds more creativity and so whether it’s getting sweaty, getting into character, or learning something new, try to see your creative efforts as building blocks. If you’re not sure where to begin, reading How to stay creative as a leader is your first task.

Greetings on top, from Zoo Kid On The Blog

Maintaining creativity in leadership

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