Lorelei's Reflections about the project
Working with Jacob this quarter has been very rewarding personally. More importantly, I believe through application of leadership techniques discussed in my MGMT 414 class my efforts made a positive impact on Jacob and the overall quality of the video product. I was successful in helping Jacob improve his video production skills while I worked on my leadership development which has been a great way to build confidence and real-world skills.
It was important for me to lead in a way that did not take control of the whole project since this project was essentially a learning experience for him. My objectives were to take on a leadership through participation technique where I was helping him develop the skills while imparting my knowledge gained through experience about production along the way without telling him “this is how to do it”. I did this by structuring the timeline and deliverables through the project plan in a way that left it up to him to determine how to get to each a milestone. Working in creative projects requires a different kind of structure that allows for creative freedom while providing an overall timeline so that there are finite goal/goals along the way. Many people think creative work is too unstructured to lead efficiently, but the reality is that without some structure there is often a lack of direction and focus. By providing that structure and a step by step process to work within, without dictating what the result had to look like I enabled Jacob to work within the boundaries of the plan and still feel that he had creative freedom. This allowed for Jacob to have a real sense of having support but not control enabling him to act on his creative plans.
I also fostered a sense of cooperation, by partnering with Jacob to develop the timeline. This way I was able to get buy in for the project plan. I also was able to retain Jacob’s sense of ownership by having him take the lead on certain aspects of the project such as client relationship and creative decisions. I was thoughtful In my conversations with Jacob and was upfront about my goal to be authentic and open about my learning process as a leader. I believe this was an effective way to inspire a shared vision for the future of the project.
By participating in the shoots and being there to recommend camera placement and interview techniques, I was able to guide the footage gathering step to get effective and quality footage that Jacob could use to make the video project better. In this way I was able to model the way effectively so he could learn about production practices while doing it.
Giving feedback on creative projects is often a delicate balance. It was important for me to protect Jacob’s feelings and not affect his sense of pride or ownership in the project. This can be a very sensitive topic that I have personally experienced in the form of overly harsh criticism. I was very careful to recommend fixes in a way that would not disparage him and would heighten the overall project. I made sure to mention all the parts that I felt went well to temper the more critical feedback. After one difficult edit review where Jacob had a hard time with a clip that was not working with the scene, I recommended a way to edit that kept the integrity of the clip while improving the overall flow of the content. The next day after having made the fix Jacob let me know that he had made the change and was happy with the result. This result from a feedback session in my mind is a huge win, not only for my leadership confidence but also for the overall project success and was very gratifying. Encouraging the heart by recognizing his creative efforts was a very important part of the feedback process.
My project was unusual compared to many of the leadership practicum projects done historically in the MGMT 414 class. This is my way of challenging the process. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible, I was able to structure this project in a way that developed skills and experience that I needed to work on. I feel that by doing this, I was able to develop my creative project leadership skills which is where my heart is. Through this work and working with Jacob on his project I have become a better and more confident leader.
Leadership skills developed
Organizational structure techniques for creative projects
Creative leadership methods