There are few things in the world more fragile than the psyche of creative people. The truth is fragility is not just isolated to the artist; everyone – at some time or another – has battled doubt, the feeling of inadequacy, and the fear of not being accepted or doing a good enough job.
As leaders, we sometimes lose sight of the power we have to change the climate of our organizations and the feelings of our teammates simply by engaging in the economy of encouragement.
Economics is defined as the study of production, distribution, and consumption – generally of goods and services. The economy of encouragement revolves around the production, distribution, and consumption of encouragement.
Consumption is easy. Everyone likes to be told they matter and, more often than not, we attempt to surround ourselves with people who value us.
Distribution is a little harder. This entails putting others above ourselves, giving back encouragement when we’re in desperate need of it ourselves, and seeking opportunity to find places, moments, and opportunities to encourage others. This is a responsibility of good leadership. Distributors are always looking to find ways to get the content out. In this case, they are looking for opportunities to encourage.
Production is a little more exclusive. Every one consumes products. Some people distribute products. But producers create products. As leaders, we’re able to produce our absolute best in our teams, volunteers, and relationships when we find out ways produce encouragement. Correction is always needed, but encouragement puts wind in the sails of people. When people believe they are valued, that they matter, and that their contributions make a difference, they tend to produce their best projects.
Today, I encourage you to invest. Invest in your local economy of encouragement. Send a text. Tell someone how you feel about them. Write a card. Make a phone call. Appreciate someone.
If you are creative, share your feelings with others on your team.
If you manage creatives, understand the importance of making them feel valued. Value and vision are so important for artists; they know they may not always be right, but they do always want to be valued.