194 – Managing Talent

You can’t rush art, but left-brained, pampered, carped office managers always want to. Don’t be that manager; go through hardship and get dirty experience. But, that’s just the beginning.

Managing talented people is an art in itself. Some of this art can be studied in school from an academic, theoretical viewpoint. There are some theories we might consider and some skills we might refine under classroom supervision. But, when dealing with real problems in the labor field, nothing can replace experience through fieldwork.

Every “talent” situation is different. A business needs standards or it will fail. Creative geniuses need room to blossom and bloom, going and growing whichever way their hearts take them. But, if a flower grows the wrong way it could get stepped on in the road. If business strategy standards are violated or misguided—by managers or artists—the business will fail and the creative blossom will become homeless. In any business, boundaries and the bloom must work together, and both are always unique.

Help talent by knowing if there is a hard-line requirement in the beginning. When the artist’s work doesn’t stack up to standard, don’t bully the painter to tears, just explain your problem as the confused consumer. “This is great,” and explain the ideas you didn’t think of that truly need to continue from the artist’s ideas that were different from what you expect. Only then add, “I have trouble because this part confuses me as the customer. Can you think of a way so that I won’t be confused.” Don’t tell the answer, that must flow from creativity.

We all get our turns as the talent manager and the managed talent. When it’s your turn to sit in the artist’s seat, try not to be totally undone. Many inflexible artists meltdown too early and get fired for good reason. There is no amount of kindness or “room to create” that pleases them.

Each situation is best addressed in prayer. Take your artistic project to God, regardless of your seat. Work, pray, and God will hydrate your soil with just enough inspiration to help you flourish. After all, He is the Great Creative Manager, and we are His talent.