Yesterday I met my new role model. Jude Kelly is the Artistic Director of the South Bank Centre and she is one of the most inspiring women I have ever met. She celebrates the intrinsic and distinct value that being female is about. Not the “woe is me, I have ovaries” approach that some of the women in business organisations perpetuate but rather one that is about understanding humanity and recognising the value in the individual irrespective of gender. Her focus is on being the best you can, collaborating with partners, engaging people where they are at….all to achieve that bigger picture impact. At the same event (REMIX London), I have also met two more role models – Richard Reed formerly from Innocent and Peter Tullin from Culture Label.
I have been through a bit of a phase of not knowing who I admire within the sector and it’s like buses – not one role model for ages and then three come along at once! I think I was perhaps hiding in Cornwall not really taking in who is doing really exciting things within the cultural sector and I can’t recommend it. I realise now that I was in a bit of a rut – doing the same things and getting the same results. The fact is that the same results are no longer acceptable. The expectations and requirements of clients continue to increase and our service and approach needs to fulfil those needs. Role models are part of ensuring that we strive to be better, that we keep learning and that we gain new perspectives.
On the other hand, I know that I have disappointed a client today. It doesn’t matter that the circumstances (and particular suppliers letting us down) meant that we couldn’t deliver; the client just sees us not helping him achieve his objectives. He is under pressure from his Board of Directors and is quite rightly passing that pressure on to us. We have a lot to prove for the remaining events with this client.
So highs and lows, a normal day in business, a normal day in the creative sector. I know that I can’t keep everyone happy all of the time but I shall take a leaf from Jude Kelly’s book and shall keep on keeping on, doing my best as an event manager, as a boss, as a mum, as a wife, as a sister etc etc etc, wearing all the hats that we all wear.
Claire Eason-Bassett, Managing Director Mackerel Sky Events and Event Cornwall