Herding Tigers

Herding Tigers

How do great leaders unleash their team to do its best and most creative work? Join Todd Henry (author of Herding Tigers and The Accidental Creative) and guests as they discuss what the talented, creative people on your team need from you, and how you can help them to be prolific, brilliant, and healthy.


May 24, 2022 13 mins

There are five process-related conversations that can help your team maintain better focus, dispel fear, and manage expectations. In this episode, I share the five conversations and how to implement them effectively.

First a few ground-rules. Do not steamroll your team with these and if you're a team member, don't barge into your manager's office demanding to have these conversations. This is about relationship and relationship is a...

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On this episode, we do a quick habit check-up to ensure that you're protecting your viability as a leader. The old saying says "As goes the leader, so goes the team." To be effective, you need to model not only work ethic and character, but also what it looks like to be a healthy creative pro. We discuss five key areas where you should have practices to help you maintain health as a leader.

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May 5, 2022 5 mins

There are ghosts haunting the halls of your organization. They are invisible assumptions, false and limiting narratives, and other types of "rules" that limit the kinds of ideas your team members will introduce, who will collaborate with whom, and how your team functions.

In this episode, we discuss the nature of ghost rules and how to exorcise them for good.

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April 20, 2022 11 mins

The hardest transition to make when you step into a leadership role is the one from maker to manager. When you are early in your career, you are primarily evaluated on your ability to do the work - to control it, shape it, and make it great. However, once you transition into leadership your job is no longer to do the work, it's to LEAD the work. This is a fundamentally different responsibility, and one that many managers get wrong.


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There is a big difference between telling the actual truth and telling people what you wish was the truth. Some leaders think that to inspire their team they must always have a positive vision, so they translate that belief to “I must ensure that team members feel like everything is going great.”

However, this is not driven by a desire to do what’s in the best interest of the team, but by the neediness of the lea...

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In many ways, leadership is about risk mitigation. You want to channel resources and team effort in the direction most likely to generate the results you want, while at the same time minimizing the potential downside of getting it wrong. This is especially challenging when doing creative work, because the downside of getting it wrong can be significant. If you make the wrong decisions early in a project, the net result can be days ...

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One of the more concerning dynamics of the “everything is on the record all the time” world is that changing your mind – especially in a highly public way – has become SIN NUMBER ONE. If a politician or business leader evolves in their understanding of a topic, we call them a flip flopper. If someone alters their once-fierce perspective in light of newfound information, we call them a hypocrite or a traitor. However, one of the mos...

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The Herding Tigers podcast is back! We'll be featuring leadership conversations, interviews, and tips for helping your team do its best work each day.

Leadership is only lonely if you're doing it wrong. On this episode, discover the two types of relationships that every creative leader needs.

Join my weekly in-person meetups at CreativeLeaderRoundtable.com

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April 19, 2018 8 mins

If you have talented, driven, creative people on your team, conflict is inevitable. Conflict isn't bad, it's just a by-product of the creative process. However, how you handle conflict will determine the health or dysfunction of the team. On this episode, we share three core principles from Herding Tigers about dealing with conflict in a healthy way.

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April 4, 2018 9 mins

It’s human nature to want to assign blame. Since the dawn of time we’ve assigned unseen causes to effects that we can’t explain. We even find ways of off-loading blame for our vices (the devil made me do it!) and our shortcomings (it’s just my nature.)

Much of this blame-shifting is in the effort to protect ourselves. We don’t like being seen by others as a failure, or as lacking self-control. There are sometimes consequences for fa...

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March 28, 2018 7 mins

After a failed project, many teams simply move forward to the next one, without a postmortem. This is a huge mistake. It’s important as a leader that you seize those failures and mistakes and turn them into growth moments for your team. Otherwise, people are likely to commit the same mistakes again. Some of the biggest coaching opportunities you’ll have are in the moments when an individual or your team has failed, and you have to ...

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Leading creative work is like trying to organize something that doesn't want to be organized. You will face a number of unique pressures that can easily sidetrack you (and your career) if you don't handle them well. On this episode, we share three of those pressures, and offer a few questions to ask yourself to gauge how well you're managing them.

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March 12, 2018 10 mins

As a leader of a creative organization, your job may be to tell your client’s story through the work of your team. Your team is in the business of positively shaping the perception a market has towards what your client is selling. You are attempting to gain the market’s trust through creative storytelling and branding. If effective storytelling is as much a part of selling your client’s image to the market then why shouldn’t i...

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Leadership is hard. It’s a lonely role, you face crushing uncertainty with elevated stakes, and you’re expected to deliver not only on your own work, but also to corral the creative minds of others and parade them into the promised land. (Oh, and did I mention that it’s often thankless?)

However, leadership is also a tremendous opportunity. You get the privilege of helping others unleash their best work, and you get to have a level ...

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February 6, 2018 9 mins

Here is a core truth of leadership: if you are not inspired, you cannot inspire. Take time each week to inspire yourself and to connect with the deeper stream of your motivation. On this episode, we share three simple ways to stay inspired so that you can earn your team's trust and respect. Remember that great leaders have great rituals.

Learn more about Herding Tigers.

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January 31, 2018 11 mins

If you control the work of your team, their capacity never scales beyond the scope of your personal involvement. Great leaders set effective rails to help their team members make good decisions in the face of uncertainty. On this episode, we share the elements of a good leadership philosophy and how to establish your own. 

Learn more about Herding Tigers at HerdingTigers.net.

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January 25, 2018 20 mins

Your team needs to know that it will have the time and attention necessary to do the work. However, organizations are often their own worst enemy, and it can be difficult to protect your team from the onslaught of demands and pressure that can get in the way of brilliance. 

On this episode, Todd Henry and riCardo Crespo discuss some specific and practical strategies for protecting your team's time and attention. 

Today's ep...

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January 10, 2018 13 mins

To do brilliant work over the long term, creative people need a great coach. As a leader, you need to understand what motivates the people on your team, and help them align their work around what they do best. On this episode, I share insights from Chapter 5 of Herding Tigers about how to step up from peer to coach, and to identify which of the three primary motivational categories your team members fall into. 

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Leading a creative team can feel like trying to build a bicycle while riding it. What worked last time might not work next time, so it feels like you're always trying to figure things out as you go. On top of managing personalities and the complexity of the work itself, there are also a few unique challenges that creative work present: opacity, insecurity, and subjectivity. On this episode, we dissect each of these three challenges...

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On the first episode of the Herding Tigers podcast, Todd Henry and riCardo Crespo discuss the differences between traditional management and leading creative people. 

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