What’s Your Best Time To Create?

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Science tells us that we’re driven by cycles, which I believe impacts our creativity. Although we can force ourselves to do almost anything, I think we do our best work at specific times of the day. For me, it’s morning. From about 6am to noon I do my best writing. After that I can do email, phone calls, meetings, or other work related tasks, but for my best writing, it has to be in the morning. Last week in London, I picked up the book “For Writers Only” by Soppy Burnham. She ran down the list of times of day when a number of great creators were at their peak:

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Do You Have The Courage To Speak Up About Your Ideas?

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We don’t normally think of the bravery of creative artists these days. In other areas, while the media may consider Bruce Jenner coming out as a woman “brave,” most people reserve that honor for men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line – like soldiers, police, or firefighters. And certainly anyone else who makes the ultimate sacrifice in the service of others. But throughout history, those with creative ideas have put their lives

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Creatives: Work When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Write, design, paint, create music – whatever you do, do it everyday. Get into the habit, and never wait for inspiration. Artist Chuck Close said, “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, your output will be limited and you’re not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

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The Socratic Method and Creative Leadership

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A number of years ago, a foundation invited my wife Kathleen and I to a private retreat at a resort in Montana to discuss the role of Christianity and the culture. There were about 12 people in the room who came from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The process they used was the Socratic Method, which was developed by the philosopher Socrates (470-399 B.C.). Realizing that a society of lazy thinkers wasn’t a good thing, he devised an

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Why Older Leaders Fight Change

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Fascinating new research provides more insight into why efforts at changing organizations usually meets with resistance from older leaders and employees. Up to now, most have attributed the resistance to the fact that older employees have invested in past ideas and aren’t interested in new ones. But the Wall Street Journal reports a new finding was discovered in an effort to track the progress of children who grow up too fast. Here’s what they found:

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Why You Should Stop Taking Credit For Great Ideas

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To become truly fulfilled in your career or calling, you need to answer one important question: Which is more important: Making your ideas happen, or taking credit for coming up with those ideas?  I know people who pounce on every opportunity to remind people they came up with certain ideas or projects. They’re willing to stop discussions, interrupt brainstorming sessions, and derail conversations, because they feel absolutely compelled to

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Why Brainstorming Rarely Works

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Brainstorming is popular – way popular – especially in corporations and nonprofit organizations. But the truth is, research has shown over and over that people produce better quality ideas when they start by working alone. And yet, companies, nonprofits, and churches have enshrined “brainstorming” as the #1 go-to method for coming up with new ideas. Why?

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Some Distractions Can Actually Help You Be More Creative

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Today, the world is filled with distractions. Email and social media are two of the biggest culprits that rob creative people of focused concentration. There’s also listening to music, watching TV, or allowing people to interrupt your work. I’ve written plenty on this blog about how to avoid distractions, but to be fair, I need to mention that certain distractions can actually help creativity. The fact is,

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