Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.
“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.
Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.
“The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you.”
“Change isn't made by asking permission. Change is made by asking forgiveness, later.”
The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job.
I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin.
The job is not the work.”
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.”
“Art is what we call...the thing an artist does.
It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.
Art is not in the ...eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist.”
“Change almost never fails because it's too early. It almost always fails because it's too late.”
“Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.
What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.
An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.
That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.
Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.
Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does.
Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”
“If you can’t state your position in eight words, you don’t have a position. ”
“I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance.”
“People don't believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.”
“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.”
“The secret to being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal.”
“Here's the truth you have to wrestle with: the reason that art (writing, engaging, leading, all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can't tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there'd be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map. Don't you hate that? I love that there's no map.”
“If you are deliberately trying to create a future that feels safe, you will willfully ignore the future that is likely.”
“Perhaps your challenge isn't finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.”
“How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
People will follow.”
“At the age of four, you were an artist. And at seven, you were a poet.”
“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.
The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.
The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry.
The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival.
A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that's all it can do. All the squirrel has is a lizard brain.
The only correct answer to 'Why did the chicken cross the road?' is 'Because it's lizard brain told it to.' Wild animals are wild because the only brain they posses is a lizard brain.
The lizard brain is not merely a concept. It's real, and it's living on the top of your spine, fighting for your survival. But, of course, survival and success are not the same thing.
The lizard brain is the reason you're afraid, the reason you don't do all the art you can, the reason you don't ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”
“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting.” Siddhrtha Gautama”
“Soon is not as good as now.”
“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you're doing something that others were unlikely to do, because they're hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.”
“In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it.”
“Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.”
“If you need to conceal your true nature to get in the door, understand that you'll probably have to conceal your true nature to keep that job.”
“Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself.”
“...treasure what it means to do a day's work. It's our one and only chance to do something productive today, and it's certainly not available to someone merely because he is the high bidder. A day's work is your chance to do art, to create a gift, to do something that matters. As your work gets better and your art becomes more important, competition for your gifts will increase and you'll discover that you can be choosier about whom you give them to.”
“Yes, I think it's okay to abandon the big, established, stuck tribe. It's okay to say to them, "You're not going where I need to go, and there's no way I'm going to persuade all of you to follow me. So rather than standing here watching the opportunities fade away, I'm heading off. I'm betting some of you, the best of you, will follow me.”
“Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”
“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it." -”
“The challenge with being an initiator of projects is that you are never, ever done.”
“The market ... demands a signal from you that you're serious, powerful, accepted, and safe.”
“Anatomy of a Movement
Senator Bill Bradley defines a movement as having three elements: (1) A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we're trying to build. (2) A connection between and among the leader and the tribe. (3) Something to do - the fewer limits the better. Too often organizations fail to do anything but the third.”
“Passion can overcome fear - the fear of losing, of failing, of being traditional.”
“Starting isn’t like that. Starting something is not an event; it’s a series of events. You decide to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction. That’s starting. You spend the rest of the day walking toward Cleveland, one step at a time, picking your feet up and putting them down. At the end of the day, twenty miles later, you stop at a hotel. And what happens the next morning? Either you quit the project or you start again, walking to Cleveland. In fact, every step is a new beginning. Sure, you’re closer than you were yesterday or last week, but you’re still...”
“Rich is my word for someone who can afford to make choices, who has enough resources to do more than merely survive.”
That's your opportunity--to approach your work in a way that generates unique learning and interactions that are worth sharing.”
“The tragedy is that society (your school, your boss, your government, your family) keeps drumming the genius part out. The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.”
“Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change you believe in.”
“Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do.”
“If failure is not an option, then neither is success.”
“Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”
“Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.”
“How was your day? If your answer was "fine," then I don't think you were leading.”
“Don't wait for the right answer and the golden path to present themselves.
This is precisely why you're stuck. Starting without seeing the end is difficult, so we often wait until we see the end, scanning relentlessly for the right way, the best way and the perfect way.
The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now.
Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can't help but improve, can't help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star.
You might not end up with perfect, but it's significantly more valuable than being stuck.
Don't just start. Continue. Ship. Repeat.”
“Life's too short" is repeated often enough to be a cliche, but this time it's true. You don't have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It's not just pointless, it's painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from.”
“The problem with competition is that it takes away the requirement to set your own path, to invent your own method, to find a new way.”
“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”
“Today, not starting is far, far worse than being wrong. If you start, you've got a shot at evolving and adjusting to turn your wrong into a right. But if you don't start, you never get a chance.”
“As our society gets more complex and our people get more complacent, the role of the jester is more vital than ever before. Please stop sitting around. We need you to make a ruckus.”
“Art is never defect-free. Things that are remarkable never meet spec, because that would make them standardized, not worth talking about.”
“It’s okay. Let your ego push you to be the initiator. But tell your ego that the best way to get something shipped is to let other people take the credit. The real win for you (and your ego) is seeing something get shipped, not in getting the credit when it does.”
“The librarian isn't a clerk who happens to work in a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.”
“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”
“Believe that giving up is the same thing as being realistic.”
“You cannot create a piece of art merely for money. Doing it as part of commerce so denudes art of wonder that it ceases to be art.”
“The Cul-de-Sac ( French for "dead end" ) ... is a situation where you work and work and work and nothing much changes”
“...the greatest shortage in our society is an instinct to produce. To create solutions and hustle them out the door. To touch the humanity inside and connect to the humans in the marketplace.”
“We do not need to teach students to embrace the status quo.”
“Not only must you be an artist, must you be generous, and must you be able to see where you can help but you must also be aware. Aware of where your skills are welcomed.”
“No one knows more about the way you think than you do.”
“I think art is the ability to change people with your work, to see things as they are and then create stories, images, and interactions that change the marketplace.”
“Everyone will think it's stupid!"
"Everyone says it's impossible."
Guess what? Everyone works in the balloon factory and everyone is wrong.”
“Persistent people are able to visualize the idea of light at the end of the tunnel when others can't see it”
“Remarkable visions and genuine insights are always met with resistance. And when you start to make progress, your efforts are met with even more resistance. Products, services, career paths - whatever it is, the forces for mediocrity will align to stop you, forgiving no errors and never backing down until it's over. If it were any other way, it would be easy. And if it were any other way, everyone would do it and your work would ultimately be devalued. The yin and yang are clear: without people pushing against your quest to do something worth talking about, it's unlikely to be worth the journey. Persist.”
“The best way to be missed when you're gone, Is to stand for something when you're here”
“The time to look for a new job is when you don't need one. The time to switch jobs is before it feels comfortable.”
“When you set down the path to create art, whatever sort of art it is, understand that the path is neither short not easy. That means you must determine if the route is worth the effort. If it's not, dream bigger.”
“The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.”
“The people who are the best in the world specialize at getting really good at the questions they don't know.”
“What is school for? If you're not asking that, you're wasting time and money.”
“We need students who can learn how to learn, who can discover how to push themselves and are generous enough and honest enough to engage with the outside world to make those dreams happen.”
“As soon as we associate reading with a test, we've missed the point.”
“All great programmers learn the same way. They poke the box. They code something and see what the computer does. They change it and see what the computer does. They repeat the process again and again until they figure out how the box works.”
“I define anxiety as experiencing failure in advance…and if you have anxiety about initiating a project, then of course you will associate risk with failure.”
“A brilliant author or businesswoman or senator or software engineer is brilliant only in tiny bursts. The rest of the time, they’re doing work that most any trained person could do.”
“An individual artist needs only a thousand true fans in her tribe. It's enough.”
“Strategic quitting is the secret of successful organizations”
“The secret of being wrong isn't to avoid being wrong! The secret is being willing to be wrong. The secret is realizing that wrong isn't fatal. The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way. The desire to fail on the way to reaching a bigger goal is the untold secret of success.”
“If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either. Part of leadership (a big part of it, actually) is the ability to stick with the dream for a long time. Long enough that the critics realize that you're going to get there one way or another...so they follow.”
“People have come to the erroneous conclusion that if they’re not willing to start something separate, world-changing, and risky, they have no business starting anything. Somehow, we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that the project has to have a name, a building, and a stock ticker symbol to matter.”
“Art isn't only a painting; it's anything that changes someone for the better, any nonanonymous interaction that leads to a human (not simply a commercial) conclusion.”
“Tell your lizard (brain) to shut up.”
“Leadership isn't something that people hand to you. ... [i]t's a gradual process, one where you take responsibility years before you are given authority. And that's something we can teach.”
“The opportunity of a lifetime is to pick yourself. Quit waiting to get picked; quit waiting for someone to give you permission; quit waiting for someone to say you are officially qualified and pick yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to be an entrepreneur or a freelancer, but it does mean you stand up and say, ‘I have something to say. I know how to do something. I’m doing it. If you want me to do it with you, raise your hand.”
“If you can't be remarkable, perhaps you should consider doing nothing until you can.”
“You get to keep making art as long as you are willing to make the choices that let you make your art.”
“If you don't know how it works, find out. If you're not sure if it will work, try it. If it doesn't make sense, play with it until it does. If it's not broken, break it. If it might not be true, find out.”
“Heretics must believe. More than anyone else in an organization, it's the person who's challenging the status quo, the one who is daring to be great, who is truly present and not just punching a clock who must have confidence in her beliefs.
Can you imagine Steve Jobs showing up for the paycheck? It's nice to get paid. It's essential to believe.”