Showing all posts tagged #maximizer:


I'm no longer the Perfectionist; I now embrace my Maximizer

Posted on September 15th, 2019

One of my through line struggles has been with perfectionism. It certainly was a frustration through school. I couldn’t understand my best friend who could just rip through homework and turn in something that was barely 80% effort. Instead I wouldn’t turn something in because it wasn’t worthy of what I knew it should be. I’ve come a long way since then. I now can present something if it’s the best I believe it can be with the recourses justifiably allocated. I can reconcile that. It has actually become a core value for me. A Maximizer shall get greatest value out of resources…. I still want for perfection, but I also find beauty in excellent. I can coach that now. I’ve come a long way.

I just read a Forbes article written by Victor Lipman that included five tips for taming perfectionism. I thought I’d share.

These five tips may not be perfect, but then again, what is? Guess that’s part of the story here…
Pursue excellence, not perfection – There’s a vast difference if you’re able to frame the endeavor this way. Excellence is attainable, perfection isn’t. Excellence is an admirable goal, perfection a potentially destructive one. As the definition in Psychology Today notes, perfectionists view life "as an endless report card on accomplishments."
Try seeing yourself through the eyes of others – The irony is that the accomplishments of many perfectionists, from the uniquely talented Ms. Kearney to many C-Suiters, are exceptional by any objective standards. Easier said than done I know, but if you can find the perspective to view yourself as others do, it will be a constructive lens to look through.
Step back and take (well-deserved) pride in what you’ve accomplished – And where exactly do you want that lens to focus? Instead of dwelling on outcomes and projects that haven’t gone perfectly, step back and spend some time reflecting on past accomplishments you’re genuinely pleased with. No doubt if you’re a CEO, there have been more than a few to bring you to this point in your career. Compared to what most of us mere mortals have, a bronze medal at the Olympics, let’s say, seems a pretty pleasant outcome. (Wouldn’t mind having one myself – would look quite nice on the wall in my study.)
If you feel perfectionism has become seriously debilitating, you may want to consider counseling or therapy – BTW, I completely understand if your reaction to this suggestion is, Hey, I’m a high-functioning hard-edged executive and I have neither time nor inclination for this sort of thing. Fair enough, totally get it. But just in case you’re interested in this level of introspection to better understand the roots of the behavior and find additional ways to address it, I’ve included a link to Psychology Today’s database of therapists. (Full disclosure: I also write for Psychology Today, which is why I’m familiar with their offerings.)
Laugh - Cliche though it is, laughter is good medicine, a natural mood changer. Find time if you can to not take yourself too seriously and remember to laugh. We’re all on the same ski slope so to speak, all just passing through the great bumpy freestyle mogul of life, and if you can find a little more time to see the humor and "enjoy the ride" – well, that’s only a positive thing.
"Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good." It’s derived from a similar phrase in the writing of Voltaire and it’s a sentiment I always felt had real relevance when I was in the business world… about the need to keep the wheels of commerce turning rather than being concerned with getting everything absolutely right.

Invent the new, Break paradigms, Strive for magic

Posted on August 16th, 2019

A repost originally from 5 years ago:

Invent the new - artistically, with technology, and by helping people realize a better process.
Break paradigms - dare to bend the implications of what people think they know.
Strive for magic in relationship between technology and art.

(August 28, 2014)

Leadership and Design Principles

Posted on August 1st, 2019

Create excellent systems and ideal processes to best support a brilliant team.
Intentionally develop what is usable and useful by focusing on the end experience.
Imagine the experiencer’s situational hopes and needs; then dream further about how to care for what they don’t even yet realize would be better.
Empathize with the misfits of society; never settle in curating only for those in the middle of the bell curve.
Design for humanity.
Strive for justice and peace.
Love everyone along the journey.
Consider every perspective.
Pursue sustainable excellence.
Refine continually.
Enhance the good; discard the clumsy; innovate the untapped potential.
Illuminate the future; building toward virtuous legacy and health for all.
Pioneer possibilities.
Optimistically always forge ahead.
Be ambassadors of hope and beauty.
Value effective as well as efficient.
Multiply intuition and knowledge.
Relentlessly pursue the greatest intersection of stewardship and creativity.
Coach and reveal beauty to enhance story and experience.
Maximize ideation and strategy.

Genius in Teamwork

Posted on November 5th, 2018

Be openhanded. Practice awareness and humility and know the one who knows. Such teamwork is where magical breakthrough and creativity occurs - at the nexus of conventionality and novelty.

My friend Michael shared this article. I find it both fascinating and encouraging.


Design alternative to truss

Posted on May 25th, 2017

I was asked for my consult on what other options I could recommend besides truss to hang a banner for an event. This was my reply:

I’m always a fan of pipe-and-base. It certainly takes up less space in a vehicle and is quicker to set up. It’s not a design on its own (you can’t put an LED inside to make it pretty colors) but it certainly is a bang-for-the-buck way to have some banners or whatever have something to tie to…

The Justice Conference 2016 Production Design

Posted on June 14th, 2016


I know you’re asking about it. I hope to fill in the details of this post soon


FILO 2016 Production Design

Posted on May 23rd, 2016

One week ago, we were finishing load in and initial programming for 2016’s edition of the FILO Conference. It was an honor and privilege to be the Production Designer (responsible for Scenic and Lighting Design) for the conference. It was a scurry of a few days so I never really had time to post anything. Here are a few of my favorite moments from the event:



Some of you took my Scenic Design Concepts breakout class. For the rest of you, here’s the story behind how I landed on the final version of the design. These are the notes from the slide where I talked about "Branding (and the iterative process of design) …and Metaphor"

The O in FILO seemed to be the best part of the brand to play off of…
PlexiDiscs (something that I have in storage that’s not being used)
They set up easily enough (tie-line and zip-ties)
They can give depth to a shallow stage
They easily fit in my hatchback!
We concept designed about building a pretty cool set piece that we chose to say no to. (the builder, time, money, space on stage, etc.)
The iterative process - never settle for the first idea, if you stay disciplined to the process, the best idea will eventually be revealed. (certainly the idea at the greatest intersection of creativity and stewardship)
Metaphor
The 40 O’s represents each of us who are FILOs. Some of us are lone guys, some of us are part of teams. Coming together we can encourage each other with our beauty as we come together. Together we can find a chorus of a "new song" (Psalm 40) to carry with us as we go back to support and enhance the sharing of the good news that Jesus loves us.

The lights, I selected for a few reasons.
First, the B-EYEs are a light that every church tech nerd has seen the videos of and dreamt about having in their venue. I thought that giving a chance to see could be beneficial.
The opportunity to have access to the use some great hybrid fixtures in the Mythos was an amazing bonus.
Finally, the Aura XBs had a primary use of lighting the scenic. However the bonus of such a great light is that we created a number of presets to give us several bonus looks!

For the whole design I played with clusters that followed the Fibonacci sequence. I wanted to have the thought of each part of the design to have a beauty on its own and contribute to the beauty of the whole in a way that felt like it fit...

Thank you to Ryan and ILC for providing the amazing lighting gear. Thanks Jeff and Brian CCC for being perhaps the most hospitable hosts an any venue I’ve ever had the chance to work with. Thanks Nate and Chelsea for the logistics, leadership, and vision. Thanks to Michael and Nic for helping us set it all up, troubleshoot issues, and Nic especially for that great catch with the B-EYEs' profile issue. Thanks Alex (whom I met as we were both on the LD panel discussion breakout) for guest designing Session 3 as I was putting finishing touches on the Keynote presentation for my breakout.

Special thanks to Patrick for being my partner in the project. Having a guy on the console who knows how to interpret the ideas of my mind almost even before I say them is the dream for an LD. A good friend with me for the journey to and from Chicago is a bonus.

Thanks most of all to Todd for inviting me to play a small role in your vision. It was a privilege and an honor.


My Professional Vision & Personal Values

Posted on December 31st, 2015

May this next season be a year of flourishing in commitment and execution.

VISION (This is my professional vision. Any "tentmaking" responsibilities I commit to should support my vision)
maximizing ideation and strategy
coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story
achieving the greatest intersection of stewardship and creativity


VALUES (a sketch of my personal values that I realize is a filter for me in all I do)
  • Believe in the one who is sent … remember Jesus’ authority; be one who is surrendered … be courageous and without worry
    • John 6:29
    • Matt. 28 ... Gal. 2:19-20 ... John 15
    • Luke 12:31

  • Love with 100% - live with passion & peace … be salt & give grace … The Church Universal - ecclesial community at the fractal level … disciple (and humbly study) in every possible context
    • 1 John 2 ... John 10:10
    • Eph. 1:23 ... I John 1
    • John 16 ... Luke 2:22 ... Titus 2 ... Matt 9:38 pray for the workers

  • Pioneer; be a first follower of the Lord - every new day commune constantly; prayer without ceasing ... be authentic
    • Gal 1:10 ... Psalms 33,40, etc. ... Is. 42 ... Rev. 5
    • Romans 8:26-28 ... I Thess. 5:17

  • Maximize every context and opportunity … stewardship with the purpose of reconciliationinnovate reveal beauty (even if only to the subconscious) with the purpose of redemption
    • Romans 8:6 ... Col. 1
    • John 1 ... John 4:23-24 ... 2 Cor 12:7-10


Dealership Production Design

Posted on October 29th, 2015

Last night we transformed one end of the dealership to celebrate momentum. Red, silver, and white branding is maintained for this main event stage and the rest of the dealership.

VIPs are enjoying catered small plates. The president and others just completed their speeches. Guests are about to experiment the main event.

Pre-show look. Lights are slowly strafing across the ceiling above the "stage" that we made. Truss warmers are twinkling white on the silver sticks of vertical truss and anticipation is in the air (or is that haze?)

I prepared myself in position at lighting control (my Jands Vista S1 - I and/or my console are available for hire/rent) back stage. I transitioned the lights as the intro video played and encouraged the talent to break a leg...
Actually, I took this shot well after the event just before we tore down - through the veil of the CrushedBlack fabric, you can see the car already on stage - in the moment I was too busy firing off a barrage of lighting effects; as well as cuing dancers, actors, and a driver for their moments of the production.
I’m really bummed not to have any photos to share of the live number we performed. Hopefully I can get some shots or video from one of the guests. I wish I had thought to set up a GoPro or few to record.

After the event, I hurried to offer photography to guests as they all wanted to pose with the cast. I managed even to get a #castandcrew shot taken of me (in the coveralls that was part of the branding) with the performers. These guys are great, by the way. If you’re looking for actors and/or dancers (and/or hamsters?) contact me and I can refer you to some great Metro Detroit talent.

One of my other responsibilities was to take photos of the president and leadership holding their awards at the corporate stage for earlier speeches at far end of the room. This is my view walking back toward the main stage. I share it to give context of the space. Even at the end of the night, the mood still feels good in the transformed dealership.
Interesting to contemplate that two hours later, everything is packed up and the morning crew will be able to bring cars back into the space for normal operations.

I think this image is hilarious; this pair of hamsters remained at the ready long after every guest had taken photos and the catering had been cleared.

It was a fun event. It always is when a producer tells me they want to drive a car on stage!

My Production Design Algorithm

Posted on May 17th, 2015

A stream of thought listing things I consider with every design:

  • Context of organization
  • Context of event
  • What are the "budget" parameters?
    • Cost for the event?
    • Budget for series? for year?
  • Who is on stage?
    • who’s the teacher
    • who’s the worship leader
    • play to their style
  • Topic of the day…series
  • Branding...
    • How do the visuals identify with the mission?
    • Achieve continuity with the rest of communication
  • What are my resources?
    • existing materials?
    • budget for new?
      • I suppose I ought to ask about rental budget; however I’m rarely a fan of such...
    • lighting inventory?
  • What is the rep plot?
    • How do we play to the strengths of the lighting system?
    • A good rep plot is arguably the most important asset to your venue.
    • Certainly right up there with a good PA.
    • The good news is that that it costs way less...
  • What are video requirements?
    • IMAG
    • broadcast
    • camera positions
  • What are audio’s needs? What will help them succeed?
  • who is the producer?
    • What are their visual preferences?
    • what "lens" is the story told?
  • Who is on lights? Maximize their strengths...
  • What is the timeline for setup? for strike?
    • Is it a stage turn situation? If so, what is the design that precedes and follows?
    • How do you design in the timeline of multiple turns?
      • Hang the rig points 2 weeks out
      • hang the truss 1.5 weeks out
      • hang the lights 1 week out and use as backlight for the Midweek stage
      • Finally, hang hard goods and refocus lights in the turn for the target event
      • then hang a screen and soft goods from the same truss in an upcoming design.
  • What are transportation and storage logistical considerations?
  • Who is the crew? What are their strengths and experiences?
    • Artists vs. engineers
  • Materials
    • What materials have been used recently?
    • What materials will the upcoming holiday be using?
    • Use something different than either of these.
  • Mood
    • Honestly more important than materials is the mood.
    • It’s possible to create multiple moods with the same materials.
      • That’s what we do in a series: I brand a series with a palette of materials, and then craft the set for each day to support the unique story of that specific event...
  • Inspiration
    • What is inspiring me recently?
      • Architecture
      • Nature
      • Window displays
      • Trade magazines
      • Cinema
      • Renaissance paintings
      • Industrial dumpster
      • Pinterest
    • What's an archived idea that I might finally have the chance to try?
      • Evernote
        • Anything that inspires me tends to end up in Evernote
        • I use tags such as "design ideas"
    • I hate copying (plagiarism) and go to great lengths to make sure my art is authenticity mine. However, I think being inspired by other designers is completely appropriate.
    • Who can you connect with to bounce ideas off of one another? #ctln
  • Passion
    • I want people to pull their phones out.
    • I take pride in my discipline - the pursuit of creating something beautiful.
    • A design certainly should look good
      • Visual interest, shapes, patterns, textures, Layers, Depth behind every camera angle, etc.
      • However I suggest there are transcendent considerations that can be woven into the scene - metaphor, symbols, numerology, etc. Hide "Easter eggs" - it's fun and it will inspire someone, I promise.
        • break the 4th wall - immerse them in the story
        • target people’s subconscious

Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist and Leader. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. He shares thoughts here about all of the above. He would love to connect to partner in coaching and revealing beauty to enhance story and experience. Please do reach out!