The Creative Actor.

Many leadership archetypes exist in the design industry, but I struggled to relate to one single persona.
So I wrote my own. I call it The Creative Actor.

The Creative Actor prioritizes and pursues inspiration and ideas with a high degree of artistic integrity. They think beyond the work, treating the people and the process itself as a creative act. They position themselves perpetually as a resource within a team, encouraging others to perform their own creative acts (with their help, if needed). They know how and when they should step in and choreograph an act themselves. They value camaraderie amongst teams and are motivated by exceptional narratives.

A Creative Actor can be identified by these 4 distinct processes:

Framing the Scene

The Creative Actor always brings new information, in many different forms, with the intention of creating opportunities to reimagine a problem, solution, or process. The simplest form is adding historic knowledge or subject matter expertise in a given area. However, the Creative Actor's ability to reframe existing thought patterns, surface hidden biases, rules, or forces of influence, and form metaphors to strengthen, alter, or reconsider work makes them a powerful problem-solver and narrative-writer.

Finding the Narrative

The Creative Actor is impulsed to optimize their work for communication. They believe in finding and articulating the positive, grandiose narrative of any work, to ensure that it feels like it supports exciting, long term visions and goals. They consider the process itself a creative act, making bespoke alterations to both work and process to intertwine their DNA, further supporting their underlying narrative.

Guiding the Cast

As a leader, the Creative Actor will gently guide work, but will not direct unless asked. They trust that their team members have the autonomy and responsibility to operate independently, and their teammates trust that the Creative Actor will support them whenever needed. The Creative Actor may proactively inject themselves in work, if they have ideas for framing a scene or finding a narrative.

Breaking the Fourth Wall

The Creative Actor does not care for conventions, traditions, templates, or formality, so they don't prioritize, expect, or enforce them. They believe that recognizing and eliminating formality will deconstruct roles and add lightness to interpersonal dynamics. This allows the Creative Actor and their teammates to compose stronger critique of the work because the designs have been emotionally separated from the designer.