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July 16, 2023

Empowering Creativity within your Team

Unleashing Potential: A Founder's Guide to Empowering Creativity

Leading a high-potential startup, your team is flush with top-tier creative talent. But, despite their skills and your ambitions, the groundbreaking work you anticipated remains elusive. Sound familiar? I’ve been in your shoes, wrestling with this paradox, and along the journey, I've unearthed the untapped power of fostering the right environment for creativity to thrive.

Understanding the Creative Mindset

My founder's journey unveiled a profound truth. Creatives aren’t merely ‘idea generators’ – they are your brand's storytellers, charged with crafting engaging narratives that echo our collective vision. Here, the 'our' refers to the entire team's vision, not just that of the founder's.

To achieve this, they require clear objectives, room for innovation, and the freedom to interpret our vision through their unique lenses.

A Founder’s Journey: Learning from Missteps

I recall a painful blunder vividly. When a critical marketing project was on the verge of completion, I decided to incorporate a fresh perspective, introducing an additional contributor. Instead of enhancing the work, this move disrupted the process. The workflow went awry, the timeline turned unpredictable, and the team found themselves in a whirlpool of confusion. This jarring experience underscored the potential turmoil triggered by abrupt changes and vague directives.

And here's the catch - this is a mistake I witness managers, founders, and leaders make routinely. It's disheartening to see them overlook their role in the process. They desire to collaborate with top-notch creatives yet fail to create an environment conducive for them to thrive.

They display a glaring lack of leadership and disregard the principle of 'Extreme Ownership', a critical ethos championed by former Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink. This principle urges a leader to wholly own their team's challenges, successes, and failures. I sincerely hope that you, as a creator or team member, never find yourself in the precarious situation of following those who lack this pivotal trait during your career-defining mission.

The Founder's Revelation - Charting a New Course

My stumble served as an awakening. I envisaged an environment where creativity could flow unobstructed, where our vision could transform into tangible results sans unnecessary roadblocks. This ideal is within reach, demanding an approach steeped in mutual respect, trust, and open dialogue.

Steering Your Team Towards Creative Excellence

Clear and Concise Communication: Start every project with a comprehensive brief. This clarity forms the bedrock for creativity. Then get out of the way.

Trust in their Expertise: Leverage the unique talents within your team. Empower them to demonstrate their skills and perspectives, fostering innovation and boosting morale.

Constructive Dialogues: Encourage regular check-ins to nurture a culture of feedback, gently guiding the project without stifling creativity.

Fostering a Creative Culture: Advocate an atmosphere of daily brainstorming and idea-sharing, ensuring every voice is heard, and each idea is valued.

My Journey - Lessons Learned

Reflecting on my past misjudgment, I took a different approach with the next project. I provided a clear brief and maintained open communication but refrained from micromanagement. The outcome? An efficiently delivered, impressively completed project. This was the power of trust and open communication.


As a founder, defining your startup's vision is just the first step. The real challenge is empowering your creative team to manifest this vision without unnecessary intervention. Champion a culture of collaboration and trust, and you will unleash your team's creative potential. Remember, sometimes stepping back can be the most effective step forward. Allow your brand’s narrative to be shaped by their creativity, and witness the extraordinary results unfold.

July 16, 2023
July 16, 2023

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