Archive for June, 2010

Are you an artist?

We’ve got to start asking ourselves–and our clients–this question…and seriously entertain the near certainty that the answer is YES!

I suspect that many business and professional leaders do not consider themselves artists. Their education, training and experience ostensibly fall on the left brain side, and cultivation of the right brain side has, in the past, not been seen as practical or worthwhile.

Enter Seth Godin’s Linchpin, his 2010 book exploring what makes someone indispensable to an organization…what makes them a “linchpin.” Like all seminal thinkers, Godin has taken ordinary ideas and made us see them sideways, so we can mine new meaning and value.  In his e-book companion to Linchpin called Insubordinate, Godin refers to Art as “the way you see the world” and the ability to put existing things together in new ways. Here’s his formula:

creation of a juxtaposition that generates a reaction and touches an emotion + lack of compromise + drive to ship = makings of Art

Throughout his book, he refers to “shipping” as that step in the process that gets an idea from brain to delivery, a step that can be sabotaged by everything from fear to procrastination, to lack of vision, to poor systems.

He goes on to say that the best artists exhibit a bias for growth and the courage to try something new. They demonstrate “daily creativity combined with relentless persistence.”

This process isn’t always neat and clean. In fact, it’s usually vibrant and messy–that’s what I had in mind when I chose the photo to go with this post.

So embrace your inner Artist! And remember what Godin says about Jerry Colonna and Fred Wilson, co-founders of Flatiron Partners:

Anyone could have done it.

Anyone didn’t.

They did.

So whatever it is that you do…Just Go Do It!


Elizabeth H. Cottrell is the principal of RiverwoodWriter, LLC, a writing and desktop publishing business, and of Speaking from the heart about the Power of Connection. She is a Senior Consultant for AvoLead.
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