Be the leader that creative people need.

Herding Tigers will help you provide the stability and challenge your team needs to do its best work.

DOING THE WORK AND LEADING THE WORK ARE DIFFERENT THINGS.

The old adage that leading creative people is like herding cats is wrong. It’s more like herding tigers.

Doing the work and leading the work are very different things. When you make the transition from maker to manager, you give ownership of projects to your team even though you could do them yourself better and faster. You’re juggling expectations from your manager, who wants consistent, predictable output from an inherently unpredictable creative process. And you’re managing the pushback from your team of brilliant, headstrong, and possibly overqualified creatives.

Leading talented, creative people requires a different skill set than the one many management books offer. As a consultant to creative companies, Todd Henry knows firsthand what prevents creative leaders from guiding their teams to success, and in Herding Tigers he provides a bold new blueprint to help you be the leader your team needs. Learn to lead by influence instead of control. Discover how to create a stable culture that empowers your team to take bold creative risks. And learn how to fight to protect the time, energy, and resources they need to do their best work.

Full of stories and practical advice, Herding Tigers will give you the confidence and the skills to foster an environment where clients, management, and employees have a product they can be proud of and a process that works.

Chapter Summaries:

INT: How To Draw Darth Vader

A primer on the definition of good creative leadership.

1: What Creative People Need

Creative people need two things more than anything else: stability and challenge.

2: Stop Doing The Work

To create stability, shift your mind-set from doing the work to leading the work.

3: They Broke It, You Bought It

To create freedom, shift your mind-set from control to influence and from personal to total accountability.

4: Level Up

To create stability, you need to distance yourself (a bit) from your team.

5: Lead Brilliance

To challenge your team, you need to help people see those aspects of their abilities to which they are blind.

6: Earn The Right

To provide stability, you must earn, manage, and strive to maintain your team’s trust.

7: Prune Proactively

To create stability, you have to actively grow a healthy culture.

8: Stay On Target

To challenge your team, boldly and effectively channel its collective attention.

9: Defend Their Space

To create stability, manage your team’s margin by aggressing protecting “white space”.

10: Be The Muse

To challenge your team members, push them outside of their comfort zone.

11: Fight Well

To create stability, recognize that conflict isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a sign of a healthy and productive team.

12: Be A Leader Worth Following

Your greatest impact comes not from the work you do — it comes from changing lives, including your own.

Resources:

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“In a world where nobody alone can possibly be as creative as everybody together, the work of leadership is about what you unleash, not what you control. Todd Henry has produced a manifesto for a new era of leadership and a manual to help leaders unleash the best in their colleagues.”

William C. Taylor

Co-founder, Fast Company and author, Simply Brilliant

“If clickbait leadership tips haven’t worked for you yet (insider’s tip: they never will), then this is the book for you. Here’s the thoughtful, tested and enjoyable blueprint for how to actually lead lead smart, creative, talented people.”

Michael Bungay Stanier

Founder, Box of Crayons and author, The Coaching Habit

“Herding Tigers is essential to anyone who wants to learn how to tackle the juggling act that is creative leadership with grace. Todd Henry’s wisdom will help you bring out your team’s best work.”

Dorie Clark

Author , Entrepreneurial You and Stand Out

Herding Tigers contains powerful ideas to make even a 30 year veteran a more effective leader. I wish I had it at the beginning of my career.”

Richard Westendorf

Executive Creative Director, Landor

“Todd Henry is a masterful writer on the business of creativity, and Herding Tigers is an indispensable guide to the caring, feeding, and growth of the creative class.”

Mitch Joel

President of Mirum, author, CTRL ALT Delete