A Leadership Mantra For Modern Times: “I Failed!”

“The trick is to get back on the horse (or motorcycle) and try again. And again, and again.” Photo by Abigail KeenanCourtesy of Unsplash

Somewhere around third or fourth session of the beginner’s improv class I teach at The Unified Scene Theater, a brick-and-mortar improv space located in the Bloomingdale Neighborhood of Washington, DC, I make the entire class stand up, raise their hands, and yell, as loud as they can “I FAILED! I FAILED AT IMPROV! I FAILED AT MAKING CRAP UP! HOORAY!”

Because, I tell them, they will. Failure is built into this medium. Not everything is perfect the first time out. Even seasoned veterans have bad shows. The now syndicated show “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” airs for 22 minutes. But how long did it take to record the shows for the producer and directors to cherry-pick those segments? Hours. Why? Because not everything works. People who have shared the stage for decades sometimes have miscues, moments that don’t always result in brilliance and magic. It’s the nature of the beast. The trick is to get back on the horse and try again. And again, and again.

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Suite Talk Video: CEO Sam Barcroft of Barcroft Media on how to inspire your team

Here’s an excerpt of our  conversation with Sam Barcroft, Founder & CEO of Barcroft Media. In this segment Sam shares with us how he inspires his team of more than 70 employees on three continents to a achieve his vision of telling “amazing stories.”

To listen to the full interview with Sam, which covers business development, entrepreneurship, the creative process and much more, click here.

Lean in, lean back and enjoy!

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Suite Talk: Sam Barcroft, Founder and CEO of Barcroft Media – An “Amazing” Storyteller Shares His Story

Sam Barcroft, Founder and CEO of Barcroft Media, believes “amazing true stories” can inspire, educate and empower. Photo courtesy of Barcroft Media

In this episode of Suite Talk we have a conversation with Sam Barcroft, founder and CEO of Barcroft Media, a digital media company with multiple lines of business and a massive global reach.

“I’ve been passionate always about incredible stories and always think there is nothing more wonderful than a true story,” says Sam.

Barcroft’s story begins in 2003, with him working as a freelance photo journalist who was generating enough projects to hire someone to lighten the load and spread the wealth.

“I started my own company based upon the fact that I thought there were some opportunities for me to go it alone and take my work in the direction I really wanted to do, free of working for anyone else directly.”

From the backroom of a North London flat, Barcroft Media now has offices in London, New York City and New Delhi. Barcroft TV is the second most popular YouTube news channel with 68.2 million views. Barcroft’s production company and wire service provide content for a host of global brands like National Geographic, BBC, Discovery Channel and MTV. 

On Suite Talk, Sam shares with us the philosophy that has fueled the rapid growth of Barcroft Media from a one-man shop in North London to having 70 plus employees on three continents. (Hint: small steps)

More importantly, we learn how he inspires and empowers his team to implement the company’s vision to produce “amazing content.”

Along the way, we gleam Sam’s insights to business, which are informed in part by watching his father struggle as a small business owner and almost losing the family home; and being part of a Hip-Hop band doing £50 a show.

“I say to a lot of people, if you are looking to start a business whatever you do don’t spend any money,” advises Barcroft. “Use your energy, your cleverness, your mobile phone, run your business for nothing from your back room. And then if you can get momentum with that then use up some favors but not borrow any money and not spend any money then you will always have business that will always be looking after you, rather than you look after it.”

Despite leading a far-flung global enterprise that carries his name, Sam is astonishingly laidback. In this interview, we learn how he (and you can) disconnect from work and relax and enjoy your family and some of life’s other pleasures.

“I put myself in a forced exile every weekend, and I’m careful not to take my mobile phone into the bedroom,” said Barcroft. “Recovery is really important, when you’re working hard you have to be bold with recovery.”

Lean in, lean back and enjoy.

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Mountain Meditations

 

Photo By Cameron Kirby cameronmkirby.com
Photo By Cameron Kirby
cameronmkirby.com

September 2003, I was in the midst of 20-day backpacking trip traversing the John Muir Trail, which follows the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. In the months leading up to this trek I prepared physically and mentally. Although, I had some experience camping and completed many day hikes but never before had I been in a situation where all life sustaining material would be carried in a 40-pound backpack so far away from civilization.

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