Ask any creative what their top three dream jobs would be and you risk being disappointed. More likely than not, their response will be far from anything you can possibly offer them.
But it’s an important question to ask nevertheless. It helps you establish their red thread.
A red thread is a drive – a purpose. It needn’t be worthy but it is what motivates a person above all else. Most people will carry a single red thread throughout their life…whether they know it or not. It’s in identifying this that so many of us struggle.
But luckily, this thread can be very broad. As broad as “making things that people love” or “helping others achieve their potential”. A good creative would surely have a bit of the former. A good manager will always have a bit of the latter.
What you do then becomes your vehicle for this. You can choose vehicles of all different shapes and sizes, but the true thread stays the same. The most passionate, successful and, ultimately, fulfilled people will choose a great variety of vehicles throughout their life but stick steadfastly to their purpose, whatever they do.
Hopefully, there’s some relation between what each person on your team is doing right now and one of their top three dream jobs. If you can see the red thread that bridges their real and dream jobs, you can be confident they’re here because they should be and want to be. They’ll be motivated, eager to learn and a tremendous asset to your team. It is after all, a step towards to their dreams.
But if not, the job is merely a distraction from their true calling. And you must be fearless enough to recognise it for them. For both your sake.