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Herding Tigers: Master the Transition from Maker to Manager

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  44 reviews
A practical handbook for every new manager charged with leading teams to creative brilliance, from the author of The Accidental Creative and Die Empty.

New managers in creative fields got the job because they were good at being makers--and learned to strategize their time, relationships, and mindset to produce the best creative work possible on their own. But when they're
Published November 7th 2017 by Portfolio
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Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
1. Leading is about more than just hitting your objectives; it’s about helping your team discover, develop, and unleash its unique form of brilliance. Release the creative potential in others.

2. Stability & Challenge: Creative people want boundaries.
Clarity & Protection: Clear about expectations early in the process. Clarity allows team members to have the mental bandwidth to do their job with excellence. Protect the team by going to bat for them. Most fertile time is at the beginn
Sep 14, 2018 added it
Rock solid book. Found myself in a meeting where I had a very difficult situation and the book's advice was right there. It emphasizes humility and that it is up to you to make a group succeed 90 percent of the time.
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of these creativity and management books. This one was recommended to me by someone I am mentoring as part of a leadership program. A short quick read (I did the audio version) it was packed full of good ideas and leadership antidotes on how to spur creativity or avoid pitfalls. Recommended for managers and project leads.
Mike Bell
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Best book I’ve ever read for how to be a creative director. Practical advice, relevant stories, prompts for discussion and directions for daily, weekly and quarterly tasks.
Joshua Bowen
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I initially thought this book was pretty basic in leadership lessons depth and value. However, I found myself highlighting more and more in this book, quoting this book in conversation and social media, and thinking about what I read more than planned. Naturally, I came to find how awesome this book really is. I highly recommend this read. It covers a lot of different topics; there are books solely dedicated to singular chapters from this one, so you get a great variety. I enjoyed this read and ...more
Lorraine Jack
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You'll pretty much highlight the whole book

This book is ideal for those who struggle to find their own inspiration/motivation in industries where having to perform consistently at 100% is required, in addition to the added pressure to lead a team to do the same. Full of ah-ha moments, you'll end up re-reading and underlining tons of great words of wisdom.
Candy Hamblin
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
First of all I must express an appreciation for a leader who is willing to step back and become a study for the ways of his minions. This kind of leadership is in and of itself, rare, which means that if you are a leader and have picked up this book, then you are already a good leader just by the nature of your own quest to be better at it.

And while the author is well versed in the needs of the creative worker, being one himself, my argument is that the delivery of said message is ineffective. O
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: design
(+) quadrant of stability/challenge is an interesting and solid thought
(-) would've preferred to hear explicit testimonials and/or a Q+A from underlings; the author can talk the talk with the ideas, but I'm curious if they would agree or disagree on parts - or if it would even make it on the page.
(-) there's a *lot* of standard pop-self-help padding; the knowledge would've made a killer set of blog posts, once when trimmed down.
(-/+) it's not bad advice, per se; but also similar in the self-help
Randy Raw
This is one my most favorite books. Todd puts words around many of the thoughts and ideas I have had, but hadn't made the time to clarify and record. So many great thoughts and language around things we can do when we lead creative people.

BTW, this book is not just about "arts" creative people. I lead a team of technical staff and they fit so many of these same traits!

Recommended for anyone in technical leadership. I have given a copy to every one of our new technical leaders, especially for t
Joshua Key
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've needed this book for a long time.

Keeping a creative team going is a balancing act... if you are too rigid, people rebel or become resentful because their creative freedom is too restricted... if you are too flexible, then everyone loses focus and nothing gets done. It's literally too opposing functions of the brain (creative vs analytical) at odds with eachother played out in a group scenario. There's a sweet spot between the two, a lose grip... he argues that indeed it's not easy to find t
Arturo Hernández
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for anyone attempting to manage creative teams (understanding “creative” as anyone who has to create things, processes, projects, etc. in order to provide value to an organization)

It functions as an introductory manual for the role and a good lecture to remind yourself about needed rituals to lead a team for the path of happiness.

I found this book because of Todd’s podcast (which is also a must 👌🏻).
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hands-on and inspirational at the same time

This is a short and handy manual for any leader (or anyone aspiring to become one), whether creative or not. I truly appreciated the mix of no-nonsense advice threaded with a moral and principled approach to leadership. I have taken many notes and will no doubt refer to this book in the future to better chart my own leadership journey.
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on and off for about a month and a half (which is a bad sign for a book for me, as I’m a fast and persistent reader). Todd Henry has solid insights about making meetings more purposeful, fighting fair, and carving out time to do meaningful work. But it was a bit dull and repetitive. I had a hard time engaging.

It’s also not as relevant to me since I don’t manage a team, I just run my own business in the creative field. A solid book, but not revolutionary.
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Todd Henry does an excellent job in his presentation of how to lead creatives well. Hearding Tigers is an easy but to the point read. This book should be a must read for leaders in creative organizations to aid or improve their leadership skills. Additionally, the book provides rituals that could be added to their processes.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Having read all of Todd Henry's books, this one was a tad underwhelming. I love the message, but this one is so niche that I didn't get much from it. How many people are designers who get promoted to be managers? It's a small slice of humanity... I get how to manage designers, so there wasn't much to glean here. :/
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Herding Tigers is all about taking that creative force that resides in every organization, giving it a shared purpose and freeing it to thrive. Creative people need two things: stability and challenge. It's up to the leader to cultivate an environment with meaning, boundaries, resources, and measurement.
Scott Wozniak
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good book on management. Not much was new, though. It quoted from other books on leadership and generally was helpful. I was a bit disappointed at how little was devoted to the unique nature of leading creatives. 99% of the advice had nothing to do with that unique environment, it was just management 101.
Renia Carsillo
The transition from doer to leader, especially in creative work, is a toughie. Henry's practical advice, restrained way of storytelling, and actionable tactics help ease the tension a bit. This is one of the better books on leadership I've read and is well worth a spot on your 2018 reading list.
Beth Anne
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this book had some interesting insights, but it was also a bit redundant and repetitive. Also is you listen to the podcast the Accidental Creative, it's not worth getting the book as he basically speaks to everything on the podcast.

Not the best use of my money.
David Roy
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Herding Tigers. Todd does a great job of providing examples and recommended actions. I really like that the action steps are broken up into weekly, monthly, and quarterly actions. This helps you take one small step at a time to improve.
Sean Doherty
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book, I feel like it was written for me! The first three chapters and the later chapter on calendaring is already being implemented with awesome results. Keeping this book close and recommend it to any creative.
Lucas Mroz
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Great content and pretty sure he is a Christian, many Biblical principles sprinkled through out. Loved his story of the shopping cart and the wiping down of counters. Those that can be trusted in the little things can be trusted in the bigger things.
Melissa Marie
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
While there was a lot of office jargon that doesn’t necessarily apply to education, I still very much enjoyed reading this from a perspective of being a leader of students as opposed to a leader of a company. The weekly, monthly, and quarterly reflections were also a very nice addition. 👍🏼
Bill DeMarco
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Todd Henry nails it again—excellent book with great applicability to not only those leading creatives, but for anyone leading a team.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just the book I needed at this time of my life. Wise, compassionate, practical advice.
Nick Jones
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An essential read for all creative team leaders
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020unprocessed
I enjoyed much more than I initially thought I would. It was a nice surprise.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Valuable insights on how to be an effective leader.
Though it is geared to creative businesses, it is applicable for anyone leading a team
Michael Wolcott
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A valuable perspective on a unique position about creative leadership. Definitely brought to light some good ideas to improve how I work with others.
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