3 Important Things I Learned About Creativity from Fishing in Key West

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I went deep sea fishing in Key West today. I’m speaking at a Christian Vision global conference at Duck Key, and a few of us went out on a fishing boat early in the morning. While you’re out there waiting on the fish to bite, you have a lot of time to think, so naturally, I started thinking about creativity, influence, and producing media programming that impacts audiences. Here’s 3 thoughts that came to me while I was waiting for that awesome fish in the photo:

Creativity Is About Connections

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From time to time I write about creativity, and invariably it creates an energetic discussion. Are we born creative? Is it learned? Is it a gene? Maria Popova of Brain Pickings (one of my favorite sites) recently revealed in an interview what I think is a wonderful definition of creativity – both practical creativity and moral creativity. Take a look and let me know what you think:

The Cost Of Being A Leader With Last Minute Ideas

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The lesson for today:  If your ideas are delivered last minute, the execution will be half baked. One of the most frequent frustrations I hear from creative teams, media directors, advertising agencies, copywriters, and designers is that the executive, CEO, pastor, or other leader comes up with ideas at the last minute, but still expects them delivered on a deadline.  It’s actually an age-old problem called:

Does Brainstorming Really Work?

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Everyone talks about “brainstorming,” and for most of us, it’s a normal part of the creative process.  But for years, I’ve had my suspicions about brainstorming because honestly, it rarely works for me.  Keep in mind that I’m a writer, so sitting in an empty room with nothing but my laptop is pretty close to heaven.  But at the same time, I love being around people – especially when it comes to making projects happen.  But in the cold, hard light of day – when it comes to generating ideas, I get a lot more done by myself than with a team.  This short video captures why.  Take a look and then tell me about your creative approach, and whether brainstorming is the big deal it’s supposed to be:

How To Turn Bad Ideas Into Good Ideas

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There are a lot of bad ideas out there. Truthfully, looking back over my career, I estimate that easily 50% of my ideas have been terrible, 30% OK, 15% pretty good, and 5% stellar. But here’s the rub – to have good ideas, you need to have a lot of ideas – and plenty of those will simply be bad. So what can you do with a bad idea to turn it around? One word:

Secrets For Dealing With Rejection

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I’m constantly reading quotes from famous people about the importance of failure and rejection. Learning from it, turning rejection into action, owning it, and more. The problem is, failure and rejection are HARD, and while everyone tells you it can be a good thing, very few people tell you how to handle it. To that end, here’s a few thoughts that might help you handle rejection the next time you experience it:

Let’s Make 2014 The Year of Execution

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If the disastrous roll-out of Obamacare has taught us anything, it’s that execution matters. No matter how noble your idea, if you can’t make it happen, then it doesn’t matter. So much in 2013 was poorly executed, so I want us to focus this new year on the art of “execution.” Writing in the Wall Street Journal recently, Joseph Epstein talked about the “Good Intentions Paving Company.” You’ll remember the famous saying:

How to Sell Your Ideas

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Everyone has ideas, but only a few get those ideas made. The truth is, “idea people” are important, but sometimes it seems like they’re a dime a dozen.  That’s why it’s the “execution people” that interest me. Moving your book, movie, business, or whatever idea to the production and funding stage is a challenge. Here’s some ideas to help  make that happen:

The Secret to Finding Creative Liberty

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We celebrate our national independence on July 4th, but there’s another freedom we should consider as well – creative freedom. The problem is, creative freedom, like our national freedom comes with a price. I’m currently reading a book called “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work.” It’s a fascinating look at how successful creative people design rituals and plan their day to maximize their productivity.  Reading the book, you realize pretty quickly that