The Great Abyss from The Music Bed on Vimeo.

“When you make something, you wonder: Will it stay at the top? Will it speak to people? Will it lose its relevance? But you can’t worry about those things. You have to create things that are truthful to yourself.”

“Every artist has some form of insecurity about what they create.”

“Creativity is not for yourself. It’s to serve others.”

Reference kudos: The Art of Non-Conformity — Chris Guillebeau, author, world-traveler, revolutionary + inspiring thinker.



Book by Jonathan Fields. Take a look at the Video Trailer, then maybe buy the book! — Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance

This is a great read in Forbes — and not long! — by Edward D. Hess of Batten Institute at UVa’s Darden School of Business: Why Is Innovation So Hard?

A few choice excerpts:

How does innovation occur? Through an inefficient process of ideation, exploration, and experimentation.

Innovative thinking, like critical thinking, does not come naturally to most people … As Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman stated,  “Laziness is built deep into our nature.” As a result, we are cognitively blind to disconfirming data and challenging ideas. In addition, our thinking is limited by our tendency to rationalize information that contradicts our beliefs and by many cognitive biases.

Thinking differently is also hard emotionally … Fear is one of the emotions that comes all too naturally to most of us—and makes it hard for us to engage in the messy work of innovation. Fear of failure, fear of looking bad, and fear of losing our job if we make mistakes all can lead to what Chris Argyris called “defensive reasoning”: the tendency to defend what we believe

… in order to innovate we need to change our attitude toward failures and mistakes. Contrary to what many of us have been taught, avoiding failure is not a sign that we’re smart. Being smart is not about knowing all the answers and performing flawlessly. Being smart is knowing what you don’t know, prioritizing what you need to know, and being very good at finding the best evidence-based answers …

To innovate, you must simultaneously tolerate mistakes and insist on operational excellence. Many businesses struggle with implementing that dual mentality.

I am always intrigued by reminders that we are all so human and still driven by biology and chemistry. In this article Judith E. Glaser highlights the neurochemistry behind a particular challenge of leadership, management, and collaboration: We can become addicted to the neurochemical feeling bestowed by being right, and we can let that chemical payoff impact our ability to listen, to encourage others, and to collaborate.

I’ve coached dozens of incredibly successful leaders who suffer from this addiction. They are extremely good at fighting for their point of view (which is indeed often right) yet they are completely unaware of the dampening impact that behavior has on the people around them. If one person is getting high off his or her dominance, others are being drummed into submission, experiencing the fight, flight, freeze or appease response I described before, which diminishes their collaborative impulses.

Ms. Glasner prescribes some exercises to help one overcome this addiction: Setting rules of engagement, listening with empathy, planning who speaks. These are good.

In general, I would encourage you (us) to be aware of this possible addiction — to pause, check yourself — what’s driving your need to be right? If there is a question as to that answer, then stop talking for a bit and simply listen.

Reference kudos: Hugh MacLeod, creative genius at