What I Learnt About Leadership from a Special Effects Makeup Class
Working remotely is part of my professional life. I catch lessons from the most interesting environments and observations.
Recently I had the opportunity to support our daughter during one of her assessments in her Special Effects Makeup Class in Brisbane. Ellie was studying the anthropology of Egyptian Makeup: it’s use and significance in the culture of the day.
I knew I had the capacity to be flexible with my work and support Elle, so we headed off to Brisbane with my laptop, all set for her class and me to work in the Student Lounge until I was needed. I was helping her (and soaking up my time with her, let’s face it!) and still getting traction on my focus areas. It got me thinking as I was surrounded by all these creative Millennials…
Leadership, Makeup Artists and the Makeup of Ancient Egyptians have a lot in common:
We all need to be aware of why we are doing what we are doing AND the company we’re keeping when we set about our tasks. We all have ‘mini-empires’ set up between our ears, with thoughts threatening to rule and have dominion over moods and moments.
Get your head in the game and be fully present in your role. Serve one another, see through myths (and there were a few of those in the prosthetics class next door) and pursue truth. Oh and just because you think Leadership should look or behave a certain way, think again. I’m always delightfully surprised when stereotypes are challenged.
Be Aware of the Environment:
Political, Spiritual & Economic: It matters and if it’s not influencing you, it will be influencing members of your team and your client base. Don’t be naive. Research it.
The ancient Egyptians, male and female, believed the eye makeup they wore gave them healing powers and protected them.The same can be said about other peoples beliefs and their faith. Do a bit of reading on the different faiths; not to judge, but to learn. Be curious and seek to understand. Be prepared to confront your own bias – conscious or unconscious and reflect on what has influenced your opinions to date. Are they consciously yours or a lazy mirror of someone else’s?
Skin in the Game:
Be invested. Be prepared for people to get to know you. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the makeup chair, sitting on the high cushioned seat with the bandanna holding my long blonde hair back. My face was being examined. Skin tone, variations, patterns. It’s the same in leadership if you are prepared to be helped and supported you must be willing to take the scrutiny and feedback.People will typically look at your appearance. Your face, your eyes, your mouth. Your gestures, your movements, your hair. Are you attentive, kind, considered?
Perceptions are being formed in nano seconds like that looping sound track in that retail store right near the food court at the local shopping centre.
Know your tools. Ellie had her range of brushes and palettes, mixing trays, combs, sponges and equipment that put her at ease so she could work through the project at hand. The Ancient Egyptians used a range of local supplies to support their efforts including malachite and galena. While the ingredients formed the khol that lined the eyes, many substances were derived from lead and provided resistance to eye infections cause from local bacteria.Where are you getting your materials from? Are they healthy for you and your team to be working with? Do you have the latest MDSS – Material Data Safety Sheets?
by @tarrandeane #leadership #speaker
Study to be Your Best:
You can be better or be mediocre. As I worked on my laptop at the National Academy of Beauty, the students were all in prepping for the practical session by researching and confirming their knowledge of the history of the Egyptian makeup, its’ history and application.In your workplace, make a point of discovering and documenting the history. You can download the Pinterest App, scroll through Snapchat and Instagram threads, but if all you are doing is glancing and NOT studying, your skill set won’t be enhanced.
Organisational story-telling AND the real facts – warts and all, empower individuals to deal with the real truth and carry out their work with full transparency.
Decide: Look at the methodology of people you admire. What do you see about their character and capability, their talent and their regard for others by @tarrandeane #leadership #speaker
Practice Your Skills with Different Models:
No two workplaces or people will be the same. Be gracious, study the individuals, ask questions, build rapport, know what is shaping appearances and behaviours.As an educator of more than 20 years I know how deceptive and risky it can be to find your delivery-style groove, a treat every audience the same way, without taking into account the different learning styles people have.
Take the images below of me with the black wig on. Some of you absolutely love it; others loathe it. Some see the eye-makeup and totally miss the deeper story or possibly think this is REALLY how I dress up for work.
Review the Results and Leverage Them:
When Ellie finished my special effects makeup she was content but not satisfied, always ready to improve. I like that in my team – that sense of continuous quality improvement, without being paralysed by perfection. Ellie’s teacher assessed, thought the eyes were brilliant, base blending was good and the photograph was taken with the accompanying black wig a’la Cleopatra-esque.
I liked what I saw in my daughter, this creative Millennial that is forging her own path.
The culture of their workplace was abuzz with banter over in one corner, quiet concentration in another. The natural light streaming in from a Brisbane winter 23 floors above ground was calming and gorgeous. This team of young professional makeup artists were given the opportunity to serve, nurture, lead, hone their craft, work with others and be enterprising. It felt good to be amongst them, this cohort. I am excited for them.
Here’s How I Leveraged the Makeup, the Artistry and the History of the Egyptians and you can too in your workplace
- Applied various filters directly in the photo gallery. Reality can be harsh, that’s a fact. Stark highshadow is just that – stark!
- Used various photo editing apps on my iPhone including: Canva, AdobeSpark and RIPL
- Once back in the office, I turned on the tripod lighting and took a range of stills and video that I can now splice away and insert to my hearts content
- Created thumbnail templates, website images, quotes, and Social posts.
- Wrote this Blog
- And, spent time with my daughter. Now that was priceless.
So, next time you’re working remotely, take a look around and consider:
- Go in Head First
- Be Aware of the Environment
- Put Some Skin in the Game
- Check Out the Raw Materials
- Study to Be Your Best
- Practice Your Skills With Different Models
- Review the Results and Leverage Them
Now, all you have to do is Decide and Execute!
ABOUT TARRAN DEANE:
Tarran Deane is the CEO of Corporate Cinderella Leadership Development Company. Wife, Mum and Step Mum to four daughters, Tarran is a regular Commentator on life and leadership.
Consulting across diverse industries and speaking in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Auckland, Phoenix and Orlando, Tarran has presented to more than 36,000 audience members and been featured in numerous articles, blogs, podcasts and magazines
From fleeing Victoria Bus Station in London as a 17 year old, at the height of the IRA bomb raids, to walking the runway as a National Finalist in the Face of Australis, to stepping up into key influential roles in Australia’s Not for Profit sector, and now running alongside leaders from diverse industries including finance, engineering, mining, health, ministry, associations, government, private enterprise, retail, hospitality and tourism, this woman is adept at braking under speed, cornering safely and doing what she can to help others live life by design, on purpose and full throttle, so no one gets left behind.
Contact Tarran Direct on +61 417 654305 for
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