2 Choosing the Right Members for Your Creative Projects
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Choosing the Right Members for Your Creative Projects

From the Professor's New Book,
"God Didn't Create Alarm Clocks"

By Professor Pooch
© David J. Spangenberg

There are a number of important decisions to make regarding personnel, no matter whether you have decided to put together a small or large team.

As in any other business, starting small, keeping expenses down, and concentrating on producing a great product is a great way to go. Very few large businesses start out large; they grow in proportion to their success. You can grow, too, but give yourself a great start first. You will find that it usually makes sense to start small, working with just a few of the right people who can perform multiple roles.

You may have already done some talent scouting in your mind, thinking about talented people you may know. If you don't have any such contacts, or the people you'd like to have are otherwise occupied, look around.

To give yourself a start, you can put a post or an ad in newspapers and on Internet sites, especially the “Social Networking Sites” where people who you need for your team would most likely visit. State what you are doing and what position(s) you need to fill. Ask friends and family, visit arts and entertainment-like schools, and talk to the teachers. Let any organizations in your area know you’re looking for someone(s).

What you need is a basic organization designed to get done what You need done.

Whenever you need to build a team, choosing members must be done very carefully, as though you were choosing members of a closely-knit family.

That, in effect, is what it will be, if the choices are made carefully.

All members of the team should be able to be mutually supportive of each other, as well as the team as a whole. You may be spending a lot of time together in all kinds of situations and you must be able to depend on each other.

You must be comfortable working together, so you can spend your time getting things accomplished and working at bettering your situation, rather than arguing and settling disputes. Wasting time in such activities delays your reaching your creative goals and takes the enjoyment out of your work.

When you consider “hiring” someone, or even taking in an intern, or involving any associates, take your time about it. Talk with them in person if at all possible, draw them out, and see how they feel about things in general and your project and the kind of work you are involved in, in particular. You will be able to sense other things from their overall attitude regarding what you are proposing, also, if you choose your questions well.

One of the most significant changes in the Arts and Entertainment Industry in this Century is the importance of all team Members contributing more than just simply “doing their job.” They must be willing to do their part in “socializing” in person and on the Internet helping make your “audience” feel they are part of your family; that is, nowadays, the potential fans like to grow with you; they want to feel they are a big part of your creative experience…

It helps if your potential team members have easy, likeable personalities, with a quality of humor as well as seriousness toward their work. Inflated egos are deadly in a team and just one can destroy the ability of the team to function as a team.

You're not looking for “stars” (in their own minds), but people who generally are willing to do what's best for the team and the project and who will accept someone's leadership.

Great attitudes are just as important as top-flight ability; people with good attitudes and a rather good ability will tend to “play up to the team”, and constantly improve.

How about project goals? Do they have the same ones You do? Are they willing to proceed step by step toward achieving these goals?

Yes, there are always questions to be answered, and the answers are important if you and your team are to succeed. No matter how appealing, talented, or even charismatic a member may be, if they present problems, your progress will be held up and your team will not be a happy one.

Since it is possible that you may have friends and relatives working with you, it is important to make sure that both you and they understand that you are engaged in a Business, and that the Business comes before anything else. Friends and relatives are often unable to put business first, because they are used to the relationship without business being part of it. They simply aren't able to “switch hats” very comfortably.

If they have this problem, you will find that they may make excuses about failures or shortcomings and expect you to understand and “forgive them” when you wouldn't do it for anyone else. They may regard this as a matter of course, and if you don't go along with it, they will let you know they are “hurt” by your attitude.

Well, if this happens, consider the effect upon the rest of the team and the future of your project. That's a hell of a lot more important than avoiding individual hurt feelings.

Another thing to remember is that the other members of a team may naturally be suspicious if you bring a friend or relative in, feeling that they will be handled differently than they are. Their morale may be lowered even if they don't realize it.

People you’re close to may possess an outstanding talent that leans you toward using them just as much as someone you've never met before. Consider the points I made above, and if you think you can work it out, go ahead and take the chance. Just be as willing to fire them as you would anyone else, and let them know it before you start.

Emphasize that it is a team effort with team goals, and what's best for the team must be your first consideration. If everyone understands and accepts the situation from the start, many problems can be avoided.

Before you take anyone on, there are still more questions. For instance, do they possess, if needed, adequate stuff to do their job? The most talented people cannot do their best with inferior gear.

How about travel to and from whatever location is necessary? Do they have adequate personal transportation? If an individual is able to work from their own property and/or you're basically involved only locally for an extended period, public transportation will suffice if they don't have heavy gear to tote, when getting together. If you secure out of town engagements, and no one has room to take the person and gear, if necessary, you’ve got a big problem.

Obviously, one of the more important questions is, what kind of experience do they have?

Are they competent and able to fit in with the team? Do their particular creative and/or business styles match that of the team? The image of the team must be cohesive, that is “together,” in order to come off.

There are two other major things to watch out for in regard to choosing members: abuse of drugs (including alcohol), and laziness.

Having someone who is dependent upon drugs will both reflect on your image and/or product, depending on the degree of “high”, and possibly even attract “official attention” to your project. Anyone who is dependent upon drugs is incapable of exercising judgment, as the need for the drug outweighs everything else.

Lazy people feel it's OK to do the least amount as is absolutely necessary - in their minds, not yours. They may not take the project seriously enough, coming up with all different kinds of excuses why the work wasn’t done or not done well enough. Then there’s other excuses such as “personal problems,” etc. etc. Neither of these kinds of people is dealing with reality, and you can't waste time dealing with either!

And never forget that a very positive outlook is a must in regard to any product or project, so definitely watch out for anyone who has a negative mind-set or is a “drama queen.” Either one will drag everyone down.

Of course, their actual role and the work that they will be doing are always important. You have to see their work, watch them work; feel whether they put themselves into their work.

See how well they get along with the other members of the team. Let the members of the team help you decide, yay, or nay, on whether to choose them, or not. Even though you may have just decided to put together the team, you will be surprised how rapidly your critical abilities develop. You want, or should I say need to have the right team of people for your project. A team that works well together, and helps make the project a success.

Note: If You have any questions about, or need more personalized guidance with your career, I am here for You! Please Email: GDCAC@professorpooch.com

Gain highly valuable insight into yourself and others,
as well as the all-important career knowledge
to deal with any and everyone who will appear
in either your personal life or your career.

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God Didn't Create Alarm Clocks

God Didn't Create Alarm Clocks

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