Creative Leadership

How Wide Is Your World?

This week, I’m particularly interested in discussing how we can evaluate our lives, our work, our failures, and our accomplishments. There’s no better time to take a personal inventory than at the end of the year, so after the last post, I’m moving toward “expanding your resources for creativity.” In Sam Harrison’s new book “Ideaspotting – How to Find Your Next Great Idea” he asks an important question for creativity. How wide is your world? For better ideas, we need a wider range of input, and here are a few of the areas he suggests.  Let me know what you think:

1. Where do you get your core news about what’s happening in the world?

2. How do you keep current on what’s happening in your field of work?

3. How do you stay mindful of what’s happening in the business world?

4. How do you learn about the interests, needs, and lifestyles, of age groups older and younger than you?

5. How do you get insights about the perspectives of the opposite gender?

6. How do you stay current on new developments in science and technology?

7. How do you stay on top of trends in entertainment and style?

8. How do you keep expanding your knowledge of the arts and humanities?

9. How do you become increasingly enlightened about physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being?

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  1. What a jewel of a blog you offer!

     How synchronous to discover you and your post as i just finished reading The Faith Club last night, inspired to realize that discusssing it in my Jan book club meeting will enable us to engage on a deeper, more meaningful conversation. I have found that talking and working with people much different than me helps me understand my core values, keeps me more flexible and makes life so much more rich.

    In our club we have an agnostic, Catholic, Jew, lapsed Catholic, lapsed Baptist (that would be me) who now attends a progressive Presbyterian church in my little village of Sausalito. 

     I am going to get Sam's book to read and share at my meeting – and to tell them about your idea-rich blog….As a former WSJ & NBC journalist I am eager to read your book too about Branding Faith.  You've already made my world bigger.

     Thank you!

     – Kare,

    In a civilization when love is
    gone we turn to justice and when
    justice is gone we turn to power
    and  when power is gone we
    turn to violence.

    Opportunity is often inconvenient.

    Remember the many
    compartments of the heart,
    the seed of what is
    possible.  So much of who
    we are is defined by
    the places we hold for each
    other.  For it is not our ingenuity
    that sets us apart, but our
    capacity for love, the
    possibility our way will
    be lit by grace.  Our hearts
    prisms, chiseling out the
    colors of pure light.

  2. I'll take a stab at this.

    I realize the questions are rhetorical, but I'll answer them in general for me.

    1.  I get my core news on the internet.  I have a personal google page set up where I have constructed my news sources deliberately to include Fox and ABC to get what little contrast there is on issues in the US.  I also include the Toronto Globe and Mail, CBC and the BBC to get a little international perspective on global news stories.  I watch local news on fox or cbs in the evening.

    2.  While I've been in direct ministry for most of the past 20 years, I'm now a consultant and contractor.  I follow a few journals and have auto-alerts set up with industry leaders in my field of expertise.

    3.  I keep up through my news sources and I probably read 8 – 10 books a year drawn from current business literature and then review them on Amazon.

    4.  I'm not particularly disciplined in looking to other age group interests.  I have children at home and newly out on their own and I interact and learn from them what is happening, but that is more an interest in them personally than a discipline.  I can see where that would be an important discipline in media, but as I'm not there, I will not elevate beyond that.  My concern would be more in the area of generational impact on leadership styles and will consider it more from that perspective.

    5.  Gender perspectives I get though my wife.  I also am active on an Amazon Book Reviewers discussion board and through that medium I am exposed to many different viewpoints including gender issues.

    6.  Science and technology.  I include a feed from Science magazine in my igoogle page.  I read books in the field.  I'm especially interested in issues of Old Earth and New Earth creation and help moderate a web-site in the arena.  I've recently read books by Richard Dawkins, whom I disagree with but recognize as influential and also by Dr. Collins, the lead scientist on the Human Genome project.

    7.  Entertainment and Style?  I try to have fun and I've finally figured out that stripes don't go with plaid.  Other than that, there is LOTS of room to grow here.  😉

    8.  Arts and Humanities.  Again, I read voraciously.  History is my preference.  Art is not not strong.  Philosophy is another field of reading and interest along with religion.

    9.  I maintain a personal devotional life and use some e-mail devotionals as a tool to take time to slow down and meditate.  E-Mail, blogging and Discussion Boards appeal to me, and so I play to that as a means to grow in this area by deliberately using the medium for positive things.

    It's a struggle at times to know what the proper balance is on much of this personally and professionally.  I have enough protestant work ethic and culture in me that it is very easy for me to begin to beat myself up on issues of discipline.  First as to the time I spend on these things as opposed to traditional Bible study, discipleship and prayer (all of which I maintain as well.)  Then I am constantly challenged on my own and sometimes by others as to the relative value of the disciplines I maintain versus more time in directl devotions and spiritual growth.  I don't think I'll lose that and have decided it is good that I don't.  It's all about time and priorities and how the base feeds my personal, professional and spiritual life, all of which intertwine.

    I'm convinced being in the crossroads though is the place to be in terms of being challenged and in turn challenging others.  Jesus is my model there.  He maintained personal, private disciplines, but he was engaged with His disciples and out in public engaging and challenging the culture, BOTH secular and religious and not always positively in terms of the entrenched religious community.  If I'm not ruffling a few feathers, I'm not following his example.

  3. Hey Phil! As a musician/ producer, I'm also an avid newspaper reader – mostly the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune (other indie ones are great too – i.e. "The Village Voice"). It's a good way to stay "up" on so many different trends and public thinking. It's also a great way to have good conversation on any level with almost anyone. NPR is also a great source of current info. Especially the show "All Things Considered." They'd probably be shocked to know how many conservative Christians listen to their program. HA! But great info is great info.

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