Have you ever worked for a business that undervalued you? Maybe they expected you to complete difficult tasks in an impossible time frame. Then, when you succeeded against the odds, you went unrecognized. How did that affect your loyalty to your employer? Even if you grin and bear it, your performance—not to mention future productivity—suffers.
How you oversee the making of your film and treat your crew will determine the well being of your team and will make or break the quality of your project.
Consider these differences between a boss and a leader presented by Lolly Daskal, CEO and President of Lead From Within, in the Inc. article “Why You Should Stop Being a Boss and Start Being a Leader“:
• A boss drives others; a leader coaches them toward their best performance.
• A boss instills fear; a leader inspires enthusiasm.
• A boss blames others; a leader works to help repair the damage and understand what happened so it won’t occur again.
• A boss thinks in terms of him or herself; a leader thinks in terms of we.
• A boss depends on his or her own authority; a leader depends, along with the entire team, on mutual accountability and trust.
• A boss uses people; a leader is interested in helping them grow and develop.
• A boss is a commander; a leader is more concerned with asking and listening.
• The boss says Go!; the leader says Let’s go!
Acknowledging that each person is contributing to the realization of your end goal and treating them with respect and care will go a long way to the overall quality product. As a filmmaker, it can be easy to get caught up in the execution of your vision, disregarding the skill set of your team. It is important to realize you cannot always make movies on your own (otherwise you would be!). Partnering and collaborating with other professionals who share your vision is essential for success.
As a leader it is up to you to get the right people into place who have the talent and capability to get the work done. Once you have made that decision, trust it and let your people do their jobs! The more time you spend working with your team on various projects, your understanding of each person’s capabilities and strengths will grow. You will be better able to adjust structures, identify weaknesses and ensure that your crew members are in the right positions.
Your goal as a leader should be to empower your teams abilities, allowing them to bring their best work to your project and ultimately for your vision to be realized through them.
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