Weekender: Sam Raimi’s Team-based Success

Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, a little something to start your weekend off on the right track. Why just a little something? Because it’s the weekend!

Ever wonder what is takes to be in charge of a Hollywood movie? Turns out it’s not that different from what it takes to lead your team. On the Nerdist podcast, famed director, producer, and writer Sam Raimi was discussing how he’s created such incredible films as the Evil Dead series, the original Spider-Man trilogy, and Oz: The Great and Powerful.

I think I’m a very open storyteller. Other people may not think so but I take all of these great artists, I want their input. I want them to make it a richer, better story then I could ever make on my own. In fact, I find that the best directors surround themselves with the most intelligent people. I try and be, and its not hard, the dumbest person on the set. And I usually am. I have a brilliant visual effects guy, a brilliant director of photography, brilliant actors. I mean, that’s the best thing you can do. It’s a little intimidating, but it’s the way to go.

sam raimiWhile Sam says that “the best directors surround themselves with the most intelligent people,” I’d say the best leaders do so the same. Can it be threatening? I guess it depends on what you’re looking for in your team.

If you want to be surrounded by minions and yes-men, hire based on how complaint your applicants seem to be. They won’t question you and they’ll do as they are told. If, however, you want to learn from Sam Raimi, hire those who are the best in their fields. They’ll push you and your product to be better. Once the award-winning project it complete, you may have to share the credit…but there are worse things.

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