Brainfood: How does she manage? Festival director Kathryn McDowell, City of London Festival

When did you become a manager? When I was marketing assistant at the Welsh National Opera - I couldn't claim to have been a manager of lots of people, but I was certainly managing projects. What does management mean to you? I think of management as a very creative role. It starts with the idea of the things that you would like to achieve - and then it's the art of the possible. It always involves talking to many people and developing ideas, and then working out together how to make them happen. The more people I can meet with a can-do mentality, the better, because then things happen. And it's not always dependent on money; sometimes, a lot of the business of arts management starts from a strong original idea, then involves people working creatively to realise it and raise the necessary resources to back it. A good manager has to be open, honest and imaginative, so that they can find creative solutions and turn potential difficulties into opportunities. They also need to be able to listen, to communicate effectively and to build relationships; no-one can succeed without their team.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you love/hate about your job? I love it that no two days are the same. There's always some new idea or opportunity to explore, and in the City there is a very positive attitude, so things happen. I dislike negativity when I find it, but I don't often see it.

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