Aiming for amazing

The following blog is made up of the best bits of editorial, articles and blogs that I’ve come across in my 38 years of working life, 30 of which I spent as my own boss at a very successful Creative Agency.

I thank all those that have inspired me to make (and write!) my own observations on these subjects. I now want to switch my focus to helping the next generation find the success that I did, and hopefully avoid a few of the pitfalls I didn’t!

Whether you consider yourself to be a creative or not, being able to be ‘creative’ is now one of the leading skill requirements that employers are looking for - and this is the case in more industries than you may think.

The World is moving so quickly that innovation is paramount to all organisations. Bosses want people that are adaptable, that can think on their feet and who can contribute to the success of the organisation rather than simply employees who turn up and shift metaphorical boxes around.

So getting ‘in the zone’ and being able to stay there is a skill - and it can often feel like a daunting challenge for the creative type. But it’s not as difficult as you might think.

The World’s greatest creatives hardly ever invent something brand new - most creativity comes off the back of something else. What they do is take existing concepts and make them much better, by tweaking them and making them their own. Some may call it plagiarism, but this is uncalled for. It’s simply creative evolution.

Ask a creative type a question, simple or complex, and they’ll more often than not come back with an answer much bigger than expected. This is because a creative looks to scale up ideas, is unafraid of making a mistake, and ultimately believes that you can’t be too bold. You can always scale back ideas, but it’s nigh on impossible to expand them. As the old adage goes:

“How many creatives does it take to change a lightbulb?”
"Zero - because none of them will change their ideas.”


1. Be very observant.
2. What’s the best similar example that exists?
3. Get out of your comfort zone.
4. Be fearless.
5. Don’t ask for too many opinions.
6. Be flexible, but only a bit.
7. Think it through.
8. It’ll never be perfect, accept that.
9. Work quickly - often the best idea is the first!
10. Polish but stop tweaking.

Hopefully this has helped you consider how you approach being ‘creative’. Remember, this is a lifelong challenge, offering the richly positive side-effect of that, in striving to be creative, your mind gets stretched all the time.

CreativityJonathan Leafe