A few years ago I started writing about Creative Leadership.

Not job titles. Not hierarchy.

Leadership.

The kind of leadership that challenges the status quo, rattles the cage, thinks laterally and pushes through this messy world with purpose.

In recent times a community of creative leaders has gathered in the MarchFirst Community — a free Slack community where the conversation revolves around:

  • Creative leadership
  • Mindfulness
  • Empathy
  • Balancing work and life
  • Purpose-driven leadership
  • Sharing resources and tools
  • Strategy
  • Business and entrepreneurship

To date we’ve had people from around the world in a large number of industries that include:

  • Designers, Illustrators and…

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Today, my team and I are releasing our annual mental health survey for people in creative industries — people like you and I, .

People in marketing, design, architecture, technology. Illustrators, Photographers, Dancers, and Architects. Writers, Scientists, Analysts, and Entrepreneurs who embrace creativity and technology in the work they do.

I’ve written a weekly article since March of 2016. Once a week I sit down and write a meditation on leadership and my own, personal leadership journey through my career which began in the heady days of early dot-com, through to my work in strategy and innovation today.

Each week people like you reply and tell me about their aspirations, their hopes, and their struggles. …


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Photo by Levi Clancy on Unsplash

Here we are. You and I, and 7.7 billion other people as we navigate our lives through uncertainty, complexity, and the unknown.

With so many industries and people affected by this crisis, I’m sure this ongoing battle for our livelihoods is seeing many of us in a state of confusion on what tomorrow looks like.

I write this shortly after steaming to a friend who had to stand down 60% of his company’s employees and a client who spent the last week having some of the most difficult conversations of her career all the while having her own salary cut by half. …


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Caryatides, Acropolis Museum (Athens Dec 2019)

We are travelling through a time in our lives when everyone is asking big questions. Questions such as ‘what’s next?’ and ‘what should we do?’.

Questions such as ‘who am I?’ and ‘what is my work?’

A time when we are holding our leadership accountable more than ever — as we realise that humility, compassion and empathy are sorely needed and sorely missed — in our work, our communities and in the simple act of trying to keep the economy afloat at a time when some industries are on their knees, whilst others thrive.

As we see good leaders shine bright, whilst others shine for nothing more than themselves. Our streams speaking more and more clichés — video-interview-after-video-interview — and still leaving us searching for something profound. Something to move the needle — to move us forward into a new way — a better way and a higher level of potential. …


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View of Saronic Gulf from Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre, Athens Greece.

ATHENS, Greece — It’s January, the sky is blue with clouds slowly creeping across from east to west — there is a chill in the air, but I can also see the light blue/pink tinge of colour on the Aegean skyline.

Standing on the mezzanine of The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in southern Athens — designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano (Pompidou Centre Paris, Whitney Museum of American Art New York, The Shard London).

A profound building in a profound city.

Looking across the Saronic Gulf towards the horizon (doing my best to seem like I know all about architecture, ancient Athens and the maritime world) I feel a long way from home, yet at the same time, tethered to my ancestors. …


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Photo by Jordan Steranka on Unsplash

I learned a long time ago that taking the blinkers off, understanding my fears and allowing myself to look sideways, over the fence and across the street to observe and understand other industries and other people’s worlds (as much as I understood my own) would help me focus to make better decisions, more discover my own personal purpose.

Yet, I found it in earnest when I discovered two things:

  1. a group of supportive people, and;
  2. the time and space for solitude.

Both worked in tandem.

I needed to find the right people who provided for me the safe space to talk about my fears and aspirations with equal weighting. People who would listen. Truly listen, not surface-level-nodding but true heartfelt listening. …


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This article was first published to my weekly journal, a private email list at The Business of Creativity.

What is new for you?

What questions are you asking yourself?

How are you rattling the cage?

In 2019 I was in a meeting with a CEO of national organisation here in Australia. He asked me some questions about a transformation program we were proposing to run together. Simple but complex questions.

“How will it work?”

“Do you feel one session with the board is enough?”

The room froze.

The tension was thick.

Someone put their glass of water down on the table. Beads rolling down the sides. It was humid and quiet — the room could hear them swallowing the last gulp of water as they waited for my answer. …


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A few months ago my team at Tank decided to ask some questions of our industry and today, I’d like to share what we found with you.

In May, I wrote an article in this weekly journal, talking about how I think about mental health all the time — I received an overwhelming amount of emails in response to it, which meant most of that day, I was responding and talking openly about mental health issues with people from around the world.

In July the incredible women I work with put together some questions and circulated The Mental Health & Creativity Survey and the outcome is here for you today. It wasn’t anything more than a group of conscious leaders wanting to give voice to the many people in our industry, and shine a light on practices which contribute to the mental health issues they face. …


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Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Understanding people, our instincts and what drives us as human beings, is at the heart of building brands that have meaning within our lives.

If our very human instinct is based on being drawn to people we trust, and people with whom we share common values and beliefs — we must remind ourselves of this simple truth when building brands.

When a brand, organisation, service or even a country, connects with us in a meaningful way, it makes us feel something positive. …


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The Old Clare in Sydney, Australia

Earlier this year I wrote about my first experience with The Old Clare Hotel in Sydney — an experience which left me completely speechless.

I recently stayed at The Old Clare again and this time, I spoke with the person who was behind the simply jaw-dropping experience I have that first time. Her answer appears here for you and it’s as simple sitting in front your computer and typing your customer’s name.

This is how you build a brand.

Earlier this year, I travelled to Sydney as I do each month, and stayed at a new hotel I hadn’t stayed at previously on a recommendation from a friend. …

About

Jim Antonopoulos

Owner of Strategy & Innovation Consultancy, Tank. Fearless Conversations Podcast. MarchFirst Leadership Academy.

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