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Coming Full Circle

coming circle

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to do a lot of lunches with people to talk about Creatis. Not only does this energize me (my 'off-the-chart' E of my Myers Briggs profile loves this)but it also gives me a wonderful excuse to reconnect with some of my favorite people from previous jobs.

Doing Good by Giving Back

Creatis Online Content 42 

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give."     Winston  Churchill

As we celebrate our 20 years of being in business helping marketing and creative leaders across the Twin Cities get more work done, it is the perfect time us to express our gratitude to those who have been on this journey with us, and to 'give back' to the community in a meaningful way. 

As an employer of more than 120 people across the Twin Cities, we take seriously our commitment to being a best-in-class business to ensure our employees can make a successful living with us. We also take seriously our obligation as a successful company to share that success with others, which is why we developed our CreatisCares program.

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Through CreatisCares, we focus on being a caring and contributing member of the Twin Cities professional community. While we support many non-profit organizations across the Twin Cities, we place special emphasis on those that, like Creatis, are dedicated to helping people improve job skills, get training and prepare for interviews so they can find great jobs and live better lives!

To bring this commitment to being Of Service to life this year, we have launched our 20for20 volunteering campaign where the Creatis leadership team has committed to completing at least 20 hours of community engagement through skills-based volunteering or monetary commitments in honor of our 20th anniversary. Beth Bitney and I were pleased to be participate in the practice interviewing sessions with Step-Up Achieve, which places Minneapolis youth in paid internships each year. It's just feels good to take a moment to give back, and we take the maxim of 'to whom much is given, much is required' to heart!

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We hope you will join us in this effort to give back sometime during 2018. Look for more information in an upcoming Creatis eNews and on the CreatisCares section of our website.

I've Never Thought of Myself as a Princess - But Still Like to Pretend Sometimes

 I love Halloween - always have.  My 'go-to' costumes growing up were a gypsy or princess - largely because my sister and I could just raid our mother's scarf and jewelry drawers and whip something up. We'd head out the door with our pillow cases in hand ready to fill them with candy. Growing up in St. Cloud meant we had blocks and blocks of middle-class houses just like ours to stop at - everyone had their light on - and we'd wander home hours later with sack full of goodies and big smiles on our faces.

And Halloween still makes me smile, but these days my 'go-to' costume is Snow White - primarily because I got a really nice one when at Caribou Coffee - and I DO have the hair for it, So during my long commute home on Halloween in my full Snow White gear (which yielded a few friendly honks and waves) - I took time to ponder what all of us as employees and leaders might learn from this beloved princess from long ago which includes:

  • You may not ever be the fairest of them all - but you can still be darn fair.  No matter how hard you work, there may be someone on the team who appears to be more talented or well-connected or experienced than you are. Nothing you can do about that. The key is to keep yourself as 'fair' as possible - keep your skills sharp, volunteer for that extra project to get exposure to other teams, ask for feedback on how you can get better or take some additional training classes in the evenings or on weekends. Because often 'fairness' has nothing to do with promotions - but hard work, being highly skilled and excellent at what you do sure does.

  • Be Happy - no one wants to work with Grumpy, Sleepy or Dopey. Everyone can have a bad day, except maybe Snow White. But stay as positive, energetic and, well, happy as you can. Be a problem-solver not a problem-stater. Make good things better. Be that person that others want to be around. 

  • Routinely look in your own magic mirror which doesn't lie. You know the story - the evil queen looks in the magic mirror and hear's some hard truth that Snow White is now the fairest in the land. Know your strengths but, more importantly, know your weaknesses and where you get stuck. Find that 'magic mirror' in a boss or co-worker that you trust and ask him/her to help you know your blindspots. Not easy - but so necessary.

  • Watch out for those poison apples. Some people build you up and some drag you down. Stay away from the gossipers and the complainers. Align yourself with those that share your drive for excellence and that want you to succeed. Be smart enough to be able to tell the difference.

  • Always do the right thing - even when it's hard. Even the huntsman figured it out and did the right thing in the end. Be clear on your personal values. Set and always honor what lines you will never cross. Strive to always do what's right not just for yourself but also for your company. Do this even when it isn't the easy thing to do.

  • One quality can set you apart from others - take advantage of it.Each of the dwarfs had a trait that made him special and set him apart from everyone else.  Maximize those top one or two things that make you special - surround yourself with people that are different than you and who complement your strengths.  Remember to respect and accept your other dwarfs and honor their special skills.  After all - it did take all seven to save Snow White.

I've been called many things during the course of my career - but generally not a princess (which is probably good I guess??). So it is such great fun for me to pretend I am a princess each year on Halloween because it reminds me of these key lessons and helps me not take myself too seriously. And - by the way - it is REALLY hard to be taken seriously while conducting a meeting in a princess costume. But I do recommend you try it sometime - you may not get any work done but I guarantee you'll get some laughs. 

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