This is the second half of a guest post by Mick Haupt. He is a photographer and graphic designer, and has worked with Cru for 25 years. Mick is a foodie, a cyclist, and family man with two uncontrollable boys. Check out Mick’s blog.
In 7 Ways Being a Wandering Photographer Helped Shape Me Into a Leader, Part One, Mick shared four lessons he has learned about leadership as a photographer. This week, he shares three final lessons with us, along with another sample of his awesome photography. Enjoy!
5. You learn to make decisions quickly. Sometimes this is as simple as where to stand for capturing the best shot. You need to evaluate and make a choice. Sometimes it is more complex like where to go and not to go for your own safety when traveling in foreign lands. Frequently there is no luxury of time, it’s just “take in the options” and choose. I wanted to catch the sunset on Eileen Donan Castle in Scotland, but it meant not crossing the bridge to the Isle of Skye. A hard decision, but I turned back and captured one of my most memorable images. A leader continually weighs the options and makes decision that bring success to the team.
6. You learn that you’re not really in control. A strange thing happens in photography, clouds and people keep getting in the way. One person asked me how I always capture images without people. I answered, “I wait.” Many times I’ve waited a while, because you can’t just go telling tourists where NOT to stand. I’m not that patient, but this has developed humility and restraint in me. Oh, I have flung my hands in the air in frustration, but I’ve also learned to endure not being in control of the environment. A leader develops composure and poise to persist while managing scenarios that can’t be entirely controlled.
7. You learn to enjoy small victories and happy accidents. Have you heard that term “a happy accident”? The Urban Dictionary defines it this way, “when something unexpectedly good comes from what would otherwise be considered a mishap.” Not every cloud has a silver lining, but sometimes a great outcome arises from the ashes of disaster. A small victory could be getting one great shot out of 100, or the light being perfect on someone’s face just as someone else moved their head. Rejoice when the perfect moment happens, even if they don’t happen often. A leader finds joy in little successes and shares that joy with her team.
A photographer is an observer by nature, but they are also a learner. The environment’s we find ourself in are constantly changing…people move and light shifts by the minute. So success is predicated on evaluating and adjusting moment by moment. A leader learns from their environment. They are constantly taking in and making informed decisions based on what they see. Perhaps you can now see how the challenges that face a photographer can develop a leader. I’m grateful for how every challenging and majestic experience has helped shape me. And maybe, just maybe, I have transcended the stereotype of the flighty, disorganized creative.
Thanks Mick for sharing your insights on leadership! You can follow his blog, Wandering 40 Days.
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