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Herding Tigers

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Herding Tigers

Be the Leader That Creative People Need


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Leading creative people requires a clear strategy and strong leadership skills.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Inspiring


Leading creative people requires strategic leadership skills. Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative, says many people working in leadership positions lack the mind-set to steer creative teams, and that undermines corporate efforts to retain skilled talent. Henry challenges misconceptions about creative people while sharing concrete strategies for empowering creative team members to reach their full potential. He offers a comprehensive guide that can help you become a better leader for creative employees and establish the best possible environment for creative teams.


Careful strategic leadership helps creative people unleash their full potential.

People often compare leading creative people to herding cats. Herding tigers is a more apt analogy, because you can’t control a brilliant creative person as you might a pet. Skilled creative employees are powerful people who respond to specific, strategic leadership. Many people struggle to lead creatives after promotion to a leadership position because they try to lead their former peers without having a clear strategy. 

Strong leaders do more than meet goals and deadlines – they empower teams to reach their full potential by:

  • Helping stakeholders better understand the mysteries of the creative process.
  • Tactfully managing the egos and insecurities of creative people – sometimes playing the role of coach or therapist.
  • Juggling different subjective expectations from both stakeholders and clients.
  • Cultivating the right mind-set and embracing positive rituals.

Creative people thrive on the right mix of stability and challenge.

Debunk these five inaccurate stereotypes about creative...

About the Author

Todd Henry, founder of Accidental Creative, also wrote Die Empty and Louder Than Words.

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