Alarmi, Alarmi, Are there artists among us?

"Whether they explicitly acknowledge themselves as leaders or not, artists often move others to follow them — into neighborhoods, into a new a social movement, or even just a dialogue. They do it through the skills that are inherent in their work as professional "inspirers" and provocateurs." @JohnMaeda & Becky Bermont

As an artist and performer who continues to perform and who has also been working in the corporate world for over 15 years now, I often struggle with making the switch between my performing persona and my leadership presence in the conference room.  I read an article this morning by esteemed thinker John Maeda and it resonated strongly.

Why business leaders should act more like artists.

Mr Maeda makes three key "aha" points which I strongly agree with. but the last is the most profound for me.
  1. Artists constantly collaborate.
  2. Artists are talented communicators.
  3. Artists learn how to learn together.
In this age of constant change, I believe that chances of success at work and in life are exponentially increased when we adopt the attituted of a lifelong learner.  Note, I didn't say career student, which has a very different connotation.  We must constantly learn from one another and remain aware of, but not inhibited by, our lack of knowledge.  Hubris is the cornerstone of every great general and it is equally at fault for nearly every great failure.

Artists understand that to live, they must create. To create, they must collaborate. Competition is a great motivator, but it is in no way an equalizer.  Each work of art(or success) is unique and requires the sacrifice of a piece of themselves. Is this really so different from our corporate culture?

I think that artists have much to learn from businessmen, particularly in the area of results oriented actions, and planning. It is however important for us all to remember that businessmen have much to learn(continually) from artists.

“For if there is more tragic a fool than the businessman who doesn’t know that he is an exponent of man’s highest creative spirit, it is the artist who thinks that the businessman is his enemy.“ Composer Richard Halley.  -- Ayn Rand, from Atlas Shrugged


wow, very powerful. This is evident in all stages of music making, not just with advanced or more experienced performers...I see it in our young students as well. The learning together is a critical component of musical development for children...we learn through experiences, through other people...choral rehearsals, band and orchestra rehearsals. I think we can witness the most profound growth in a student who truly embraces the idea of "learning" in an ensemble. Proven with several of my Canatre and Animato students who have come WORLDS in only 10 weeks. They have lived their passion for music, given their best effort to learn the how-to's, and now is their chance to share themselves with other artists and the community.

Thanks for sharing this!
Kavbar said…
Truly spoken!

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