Sunday, November 11, 2012

Useful Workout

It was a beautiful perfect day to be outside.

I spent much of the afternoon sawing logs.  No - not napping (that was yesterday), really sawing logs, moving branches, clearing storm damage.  I used a manual bow saw so got lots of exercise.  I often think when I am working out in a gym that I could actually be doing something productive like this.

And then I harvested most of the remaining vegetables from the garden.  Some potatoes, lots of beets, carrots and almost a bushel of leeks.  I grew both yellow and red beets this year but the yellow ones were disappointing - low yield and small. 

To some extent, gardening could be classified as a useful workout.

The only problem with harvesting is it is a lot of work to clean, dry, freeze and deal with them now.

I left the parsnips in the ground.  They sweeten with freezing and can even wait to the spring for harvest.

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I read Every Leader is an Artist - How the World's Greatest Artists Can Make You a More Creative Leader by Michael O'Malley and William Baker (Both PhD's).

I do not consider myself to be artistic.  I cannot draw worth anything.  I am also highly utilitarian oriented and tend to undervalue art.  But I am highly creative.  This creativity has served me well in business.

Leaders, like artists put their work on display every day in front of judgmental and discerning audiences.

O'Malley and Baker have distilled 12 successful characteristics of artists that can be applied to leadership.  They call them leadership criteria.  I like that they acknowledge there is not one success formula that fits all situations or leaders.

Some of the 12 criteria:

1 - Intent.  Make a commitment to achieve exceptional ends.  I found this inspirational. 

2 - Focus.  I have often had concern that my creativity has limited my focus.  I often jump from idea to idea.  Every successful person I know is high focus.

7 - Authenticity.  This is one trait that makes a leader.  Simple, easy and rare.

12 - Criticism.  Constant evaluation of results and using that analysis to modify as needed.

Most artists (and they include writers in this) dedicate their lifetime to their pursuit.   Leadership is a lifetime pursuit as well.

Part of the moral is we can all learn from any highly successful person.  Most successful people in any field have applied themselves passionately to their chosen field.

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