Over the Twitter Transom:
What a morning for reading rich (and affirming) material on leadership, entrepreneurship, and creativity. In this post I stitch together links to three articles I read this morning that, together, have confirmed in my mind what I believe God has been telling me.
Randy Elrod had a terrific post this morning about the kind of environment that encourages creatives to stay and thrive and the kind that encourages them to leave. He has advice both for the organization that cares about their creatives and for creatives who need to make a decision whether to stay or go.
There have been times in my life, when I’ve wanted to move forward, but people in my life said this is as far as I want to go. As an entrepreneur, it is now I who determines my goals, my pace, my timing and therefore I can measure progress.
When a victory happens such as attaining non-profit status for my dream Kalein after five years of frustrating and tedious effort—it is real, tangible PROGRESS. When I check off my to-do list by the end of the day, that is progress…
And progress, my friends is a word this creative entrepreneur can live with.
Dan Rockwell: Finding your competitive advantage
Dan Rockwell calls his blog Leadership Freak (Helping leaders reach higher in 300 words or less). Recently Dan ran a series of posts sparked by some time he spent with bestselling author and serial entrepreneur Josh Linkner.
I was especially struck by last Thursday’s post on finding your competitive advantage.
Josh believes everyone is born with creativity but it’s beaten out of us by over-stretched educational systems, society, family, and businesses. I’ll give testimony to that truth.
Some years back I consciously decided to stop being creative where I worked. I can almost remember the day.
Navigating the maze of organizational structure, seeking approvals, and worrying about turf frustrated me and my bosses. It wasn’t worth the effort. It felt like ideas were inconvenient enemies rather than opportunities. I should have quit that day.
Dan shares three questions from Linkner for awakening curiosity (key ingredient to creativity):
- What if?
- Why not?
“Have those questions been beaten out of you?” Dan asks. “Asking them may help you reclaim your competitive advantage.”
Maurilio Amorim: Are You Part of a Learning Organization?
Several times I’ve been a member of organizations where the leaders dreaded the very idea of their team members actually learning and growing. Unfortunately, it took me years to realize I had no obligation to stay in such an enmeshing environment.
Maurilio Amorim is a young consultant with an impressive resume of clients he’s helped capture vision and overcome barriers to growth. Says Maurilio:
I have the privilege to work with some very dynamic organizations and one of the indicators of whether or not they continue to grow is their ability to learn–both from their mistakes as well as from others. My first consultation with a new client serves two distinct purposes: Is this a good fit? Is this a learning organization? I have been in situations where I knew that my company could add a lot of value to a client, but, unfortunately, they were not teachable and therefore, not a viable business relationship. Here’s what I look for in making my assessment of an organization’s teach-ability quotient.
My own takeaway:
Unless we’re really desperate for employment–family to feed, extremely limited options–we should ask potential employers the same questions Maurilio asks his potential clients. Even if we ARE desperate, we should keep our eye on the door and be ready to bolt at the first opportunity.
Even sadder, there are churches who don’t want their members to learn and grow. I was a member of a church once that invested huge resources into programs and processes designed to equip their members–and then turned around and undermined that learning through territorialness and manipulative behaviors. Needless to say, that church had a huge back door through which quality leaders exited at regular intervals.
Life is short. God has fashioned us for a tremendous purpose. We shouldn’t settle.
Why? What if? Why not?
What do you think?