What Inspires Me About Creative Visionaries

Part of what inspired me to explore this new project was this article about Brad Bird at Pixar. I loved the “lessons,” including:
(Note, these are renumbered from the original article because there were actually 10, not 9, as indicated in the text)

  1. Herd Your Black Sheep: “Give us the black sheep. I want artists who are frustrated. I want the ones who have another way of doing things that nobody’s listening to. Give us all the guys who are probably headed out the door.”
  2. Perfect is the Enemy of Innovation: “…there are some [scenes] that only need to be good enough to not break the spell.”
  3. Look for Intensity: “Involved people make for better innovation”
  4. Innovation Doesn’t happen in a Vacuum: “…if we can interconnect all our strengths, we are collectively the greatest animator on earth.”
  5. High Morale Makes Creativity Cheap: “…the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale.”
  6. Don’t Try To “Protect your success:” “The first step in achieving the impossible is believing that the impossible can be achieved…”
  7. Steve Jobs Says ‘Interaction = Innovation:’ “People are allowed to create whatever front to their office they want…. if you have a loose, free kind of atmosphere, it helps creativity.”
  8. Encourage Inter-disciplinary Learning: “…encourages people to learn outside of their areas, which makes them more complete [and more creative].”
  9. Get Rid of Weak Links: “Passive-aggressive people—people who don’t show their colors in the group but then get behind the scenes and peck away—are poisonous.”
  10. Making $$ Can’t Be Your Focus: “Walt Disney’s mantra was, ‘I don’t make movies to make money—I make money to make movies.’”

What I love about these thoughts is the outside-the-box thinking that focuses on creativity, results, risk, and morale, simultaneously. As someone who is accustomed to coaching clients who “don’t fit in,” I love seeing such powerful results coming from NOT fitting in and not valuing fitting in. It’s so refreshing.

It’s my sense that we all have a lot to learn from these creative visionary types who see things differently, are willing to say so, and are willing to match their money and their efforts with their beliefs.