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Bring your #wholeself to work: superpowers of artists

Welcome to Part 3 of a series all about bringing your #wholeself to work. Read part 1 (on athletes) over here and Part 2 (on parents) over here. Stay tuned for part 4, coming up.

My four year old says “pause game” a lot. Like, when we’re chatting at dinner and he wants to run outside and grab the rock he brought home from school to show me. Or when we’re playing an actual game, and he needs a water break.

This series is all about saying “pause game” to your professional development plans. Rather than always developing new skills, let’s look at integrating the skills you already have.

There’s a school of thought that says all humans are artists. For the purpose of this piece, let’s go with that.

Artists use their imaginations

In its simplest form, creativity is access to imagination. And your imagination is unique, unlimited, and incredibly powerful.

Let’s consider the blank page. For an artist, the blank page activates imagination.

Where in your work do you start with a blank page?

For some of you, it’s nowhere. Let’s say you produce a quarterly report and every single quarter you literally pull up the last one and rearrange a few words.

Your imagination – literally one of your career superpowers – is falling asleep in the back row of your working life.

Where could starting from scratch create an opportunity to imagine a better outcome?

Consider: how are team interactions and meetings managed? when was the last time standard processes were evaluated and, just maybe, updated? how could work be more enjoyable? more fun? how could work better leverage the unique people on the team?

These questions invite imagination. TRY IT.

Artists see opportunity

You’ve probably heard of Michelangelo and his famous words around liberating a sculpture from its rock (I paraphrase). The artists looks at a rock and sees a sculpture.

You are an artist. And all around you, you see opportunity for something new, something different.

The applications at work are UNLIMITED.

The artist has IDEAS. If you have ideas, and your working environment doesn’t make space to at least entertain them, and maybe even explore implementing them, you are in the wrong work environment.

Without ideas, there is no progress.

Consider: new ideas around how your product or service is designed, created, packaged, transported, delivered, used, relied upon, trusted, loved, built upon, transformed, reused, etc.

Try it.

Artists are sensitive

My neighbourhood has beautiful gardens. I’ve been walking and scoping them out for weeks.

And I’ve noticed something. I can tell instantly which ones are professionally planned and executed and which ones are the work of a homeowner.

Some of the homeowners are really skilled gardeners. It doesn’t matter. Two gardens can suggest equal skill, be equally “perfect,” and I can still tell which one was done by a landscaping crew with a marked pick-up out front, and which one was done by the person who lives there.

I just know when an artist is behind the garden.

I just know when the garden’s been created with love.

That’s strange, right? How could I “just know?” Because I’m an artist. I’m sensitive to that kind of thing.

Where are your sensitivities superpowers? What do you “just know”?

Where can you apply that knowing to your working life?

You are an artist. So, be an artist. Make art today, with your whole life including your working life. Comment below or DM me over here and tell me what you’re doing to let your artist out at work.

I’m cheering you on.

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