On Collaboration

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Today, I’d like to share some reflections on collaborating with individuals and forming your creative community—a group of like-minded individuals with whom you’ll find synchronicity. This connection leads to an incredible exchange of ideas and fosters strong bonds, all of which are crucial in the creative process.

I’ve undergone numerous iterations in this regard. I’ve been fortunate to work with outstanding individuals throughout my career, some of whom I’ve collaborated with for over 15 years, which is truly exciting. While there have been ups and downs, we continue to move forward. Finding your tribe is not only essential for your own well-being but also pivotal for realizing your creative vision.

The people who join your project or idea bring their unique energy, values, and work styles. It’s imperative to ensure that you surround yourself with individuals whose creative energies amplify each other, rather than those you constantly have to push forward. When you’re in the latter situation, progress becomes challenging, delegation is impossible, and trust wanes, ultimately hindering your ability to focus on other crucial tasks.

Our aim isn’t to bring in individuals we must micromanage or constantly supervise. While this approach may work for some, it’s not my preferred style. I dislike being micromanaged myself and require the freedom to operate with trust that I’ll find solutions. When I have that freedom, I can perform at my best.

My approach to working with people aligns with this philosophy. There must be oversight to ensure alignment with the project’s goals, but everyone should have the space to contribute their unique talents. Think of yourself as the conductor of an orchestra or a DJ setting the tone, allowing each team member to express themselves. The synergy arises when everyone’s contributions are harmoniously combined.

For the magic to happen, and for this creative energy to multiply, as I mentioned earlier, you need people who completely sync with your idea, genuinely love and believe in it, and find it truly exciting. It’s not about just getting a job; there must also be room for growth and exchange, enriching both their lives and your ideas.

If you sense there’s no dance, and no ability to shift into high gear when someone joins the team, it’s time to reconsider their role. It’s a waste of everyone’s time if you can’t create what you envision. The individual will likely also feel lost in a stagnant environment. When you continually feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back, it’s akin to being stuck in a quagmire, and it’s a situation you should avoid.

Exercise caution when bringing new people on board because they can either bolster or hinder your progress. You want individuals who resonate with your vision, possess complementary skills, rather than duplicative ones, and can function harmoniously within a supportive team. Be diligent in your selection process, understanding the motives behind each person’s involvement. Their true intentions will become apparent when faced with adversity, shedding light on why they are part of the team.

If you seek long-term collaborations, and genuine connections, and aspire to create a creative family, choose your team members as if you are indeed forming your creative family. This approach serves as an excellent litmus test and mirrors my own practice, which has proven successful. However, ensure that you establish clear expectations and maintain transparency, so there’s no room for disappointment. Trust should be a cornerstone, and you should feel confident in the reliability of your team. 

While challenges may arise, a shared alignment in values and vision will help you navigate through these rough patches. That’s my wish for you, as every idea requires a robust support system and pillars on which to build. The people around you are among the most crucial pillars, so treat them well and select them wisely. I wish you the very best as you move forward.