But once you earn respect, the others often follow.
Earning respect in any field is tough, and creative types have it tougher than most. What we do is usually subjective, we’re always competing with the next big thing and past success is often seen as a sign that we’re past our best.
So how do you earn the respect of your peers? I can only go by my own experiences.
I’m not claiming to be at the top of my field by any measure (when it comes to ideas, I like to think of myself as a hack with a knack), but I believe I’ve earned some level of respect from my peers, and I hope to continue holding that respect for a while longer.
How? I help, and I share.
I’m not the world’s greatest creative, but the techniques I’ve learned, the insights I’ve gathered, the work I’ve done over years has value, and I share that with my teams, colleagues and associates whenever and wherever possible.
I don’t shove anything down their throats, but I’m happy to have my brain picked and to explain why I’ve done what I’ve done, and how I did it. Over the years, I hope I’ve helped a few people grow in their careers, and helped others solve creative problems.
Basically, I don’t believe I’ve earned respect based on particular projects, as much as on a willingness to share and help others along the creative path.
So the question is; what do you do to earn respect as a creative? If you’re relying on that last big idea, you might be in trouble (that was great, but what have you done for us lately?). If you rely on building respect and reputation based on helping and mentoring those around you, you’ll find the path easier, more sustainable and ultimately more rewarding.