Ken Burns Talks About Leadership, Productivity and Achieving Immortality Through Storytelling

With his latest opus due out this month and a half-dozen more films on the way, the director and historian Ken Burns has learned a lot about how to manage big teams through even bigger projects.
Source: Tim Llewellyn

Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns is responsible for such genre-defining and genre- defying documentary series as The Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz, to name a few. As he and collaborator Lynn Novick prepare to debut their new 10-part documentary film series The Vietnam War on September 17 on PBS stations nationwide, we spoke with the tireless documentarian about leadership, productivity, managing gigantic projects and how to achieve immortality through storytelling.

Related: 7 Telltale Signs That You Have a Leader's Mindset

So you just finished this incredible documentary about Vietnam. Are you already thinking of the next three documentaries down the road? 

Sorry to say, in a kind of admission of foolishness, I’m thinking usually about 13 or 14 films ahead. I’m now working on six or seven at the same time, which is insane. A lot of that has to was more than 10 years in the making. 

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