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STEPHEN WEBBER “I seem to always put myself into situations where I’m a little bit afraid of what I’m doing. I guess I must thrive on it, because I keep doing it, even though each time I ask myself, ‘What the hell are you thinking?’. But I think it’s an adrenaline rush, when you’re in over your head. I do the same thing with my students – I try and take them out of their comfort zone. Most of the assignments I give them, at least the more ‘experiential’ ones, like putting together a studio session, are pretty much ‘sink-or-swim’ situations. They’re going to have to rise to the occasion or it’ll be pretty painful. When you face adversity and come out the other side, you develop courage and confidence. It’s OK to be afraid, you just have to act anyways.”


RICHARD NICHOLS “With The Roots, I honestly don’t think I can say that we have ever made mistakes, things just change over time. I’m a compulsive over-thinker, so pretty much everything is just a calculated risk. I mean, can you call a calculated risk a mistake if it doesn’t work out? Even the downside for anything we do is figured in, so honestly we’d never really attempt anything that would have a detrimental effect. My job is to make supercalculated sh*t look daring.”

MARY CANTWELL “A leader who can be vulnerable along with his or her creative thinkers and who is open to feedback is important. It makes for a more open process to problem solving and helps foster and encourage creativity in their employees or students. I can honestly say that without admitting my vulnerability and turning to others for input, my own creative process would have been short-lived.”

JULIA HU “I have always been inspired by my mother, who was also an entrepreneur. She always has a spirit of optimism and doesn’t over-think things. You have nothing to fear from trying. That type of belief is important, because you have to believe in yourself first.”


In Managing Creativity we pick the brains of some very unique creative leaders from all walks of life – CEOs, filmmakers, educators, music p...