This is part two in a series of episodes in which I share the "big idea" from each of my books. This episode covers the big idea from my 2013 book Die Empty, which is about the common places people and teams get stuck and fail to do the work they are capable of doing.
Do you ever find yourself doing things for inexplicable reasons, or making decisions in your work that you can't really explain? It's possible that you're living with "ghost rules". These are invisible narratives that limit your thinking and creating, and can - over time - cause you to underperform. On this episode, we share a few sources of ghost rules (from the book Herding Tigers), and how to begin to overcome them.
I first heard the phrase "insecurity work" from Scott Belsky a number of years ago. He defines it as work that has no intended outcome, doesn't move the ball forward, and is quick enough to do without realizing. It's most common to slip into insecurity work when you feel overwhelmed or perhaps even unequal to the creative task at hand, and it gives you the illusion of progress but actually robs valuable resources necessary to produce value. On this episode, I share three sources of insecurity work and how to recognize and address them.
As much as we'd all love a simple and easy to follow plan for career success, the reality is that we're all mostly making things up as we go. However, that doesn't stop many people from slipping into comfort mode instead of pushing for creative growth and personal challenge.
On this episode, marketing consultant Wes Kao shares how to embrace map-making as your core mode of operation, why it's important to have a "spiky" point of view, and how to present your ideas so that others can receive them.
There are a number of creative battles that must be won in order to get from where you are to where you want to be. Unfortunately, many creative pros are "taken out" of the game because they aren't prepared for what's inevitably going to come there way. Tim Grahl has been in the trenches for years, and on today's episode we discuss some of the common pitfalls creative pros face in building something great with insights from his new book Running Down A Dream.
Leadership and legacy are not just what you do, but also how you do it. It will be determined by a series of choices you make over your life about how to spend this moment – here, and now. The challenging thing is that each moment feels like a throwaway, because another one follows closely on its heels. How you choose to engage here and now speaks more to your character than whatever residual stuff you leave in your trail.
What’s the greatest barrier to brilliant work? Is it fear? Lack of time or resources? Confusion? All of these contribute to one degree or another. I’ve written a ton about each of them, (including a full chapter in The Accidental Creative.) However, there’s one word that I think better stands as the bastion of mediocrity in many workplaces: adequacy. On this episode we discuss a few causes of the normalization of adequacy in the workplace and how to counter them.
Are you brave? Strangely, it depends on what your definition of brave is. Today's guest Adam Smith is here to walk us through what it looks like to be brave in life and work, and it may not always look like what you think. Adam's new book is called The Bravest You.
We've all heard the myth of the starving artist. Everyone knows that artists have to suffer for their art, live in squalid conditions, and experience great pain in order to produce brilliant work. Except, according to today's guest, that's not really the case. Jeff Goins has just written a new book called Real Artists Don't Starve, and on today's show he shares some of the differences between starving artists and thriving artists, and how you can make enough money from your art to sustain it.
The story that you believe can either free you or imprison you. On today's episode, Tom Asacker shares what he's learned about how these narratives can prevent you from doing your best work, collaborating with others, and leading at your full potential. Tom has worked with some of the largest companies in the world, helping them unlock how belief drives action, and helping them overcome barriers that are impeding their growth. His latest book is called I Am Keats.
Ever feel like you can't possibly please a boss or client? Or, are you ratcheting up the expectations for yourself (or your team) in a way that makes it impossible for you to be satisfied with an outcome? You might be experiencing something called expectation escalation. However, it's not always the boss or client that's to blame. We often do this to ourselves. On today's episode, I share how to mind your baseline.
We're all influenced by the greats of our craft. Every writer has a hero, as does every designer, leader, and musician. However, we often fail to think deeply about why those particular heroes are so influential on our own work. In today's episode, I share a few ways you can probe the depths of your influences to hone your own craft.
When you're stuck on a project and need an idea, what do you do? Do you stare at it, beating your head against the desk and straining for insight? There's a better way. Today's guest, Nick Tasler, shares a phenomenon called The Kafka Effect and how it can help us generate creative ideas and make valuable new connections.
One three letter word might be killing your creative output. Worse, it's the reason your team doesn't want to collaborate with you, and it's the thing that's preventing you from doing the best work of your life. On today's episode, I share what this three letter word is and some ways you can spot it before it derails you.
Command your art by dividing and conquering whitespace.
You owe it to yourself to structure your time in a way that facilitates your best work.