“The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
– William James
There’s not many CEOs I admire as much as MailChimp Co-founder Ben Chestnut. I keep reminding myself of his 5 rules for a creative culture:
1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don’t just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).
2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.
3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo’d and pierced-in-strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.
4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the water cooler, or their desks. Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralized, top-down meetings. But this is your job — deal with it.
5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).
If you enjoyed this, I’d recommend you watch Ben’s CreativeMornings talk. I guarantee you it’s 40minutes well spent.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
– Jack Canfield
“There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy… the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul… the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.”
– Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman on the Nine Kinds of Silence
“Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave.”
You’re a parent or simply interested in how teenagers and young adults use Social Media? Read this post. It’s written by Andrew Watts, a 19 year old. Such insights. Fascinating!
“Ms. Kondo’s decluttering theories are unique, and can be reduced to two basic tenets: Discard everything that does not “spark joy,” after thanking the objects that are getting the heave-ho for their service; and do not buy organizing equipment — your home already has all the storage you need.”
Kissing Your Socks Goodbye, by Penelope Green
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“There are always limits, and there are always opportunities. The ones we rehearse and focus on are the ones that shape our attitude and our actions.”
– Seth Godin
“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”
– Jim Hightower
“As a leader my responsibility is to tell hard truths to my team and to my CEO. I can only do that when folks truly believe that I have their best interests at heart and my intention is to push them to being their better selves.”
– Jesse Hertzberg
“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.”
– Alain de Botton
“For many things, your attitudes came from actions that led to observations that led to explanations that led to beliefs. Your actions tend to chisel away at the raw marble of your persona, carving into being the self you experience from day to day. It doesn’t feel that way, though. To conscious experience, it feels as if you were the one holding the chisel, motivated by existing thoughts and beliefs. It feels as though the person wearing your pants performed actions consistent with your established character, yet there is plenty of research suggesting otherwise. The things you do often create the things you believe.”
– Benjamin Franklin
From this Brain Pickings post.
“Respectful communication under conflict or opposition is an essential and truly awe-inspiring ability.”
– Bryant McGill
“Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.”
– Seth Godin
“… The real trick to producing great work isn’t to find ways to eliminate the edgy, nervous feeling that you might be swimming out of your depth. Instead, it’s to remember that everyone else is feeling it, too. We’re all in deep water. Which is fine: it’s by far the most exciting place to be.”
Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing, by Oliver Burkeman
“To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
“Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”
– Alan Watts
“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”