Ode to Being an Artist

Our culture, and the business community, in particular, has an artist deficit. We need more artists, not more managers

I will be an artist.

Not the narrow and uninspiring mainstream definition of an artist: “a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.”

But a generous, empathetic, gracious, and open artist. An artist that does work that is meaningful. Work that is personal. Work that changes the receiver.

Over the last two years, I have been loaned two debentures.

The first debenture is time.
Time to think.
Time to read. Time to realize that life is not short, but that we make it that way.
Time to fall in love many times, always with the same person, my beautiful wife.

The second debenture is a choice.
The choice to stay at home and spend time with my beautiful bride.
The choice to build relationships with those that inspire me to be a better person and to think critically.
The choice to learn how to live, instead of how to make a living.

The choice to search for truth, instead of certainty.

However, all debts come with an obligation. An obligation that I will devote my life to repaying.

An obligation to imagine.
An obligation not to pretend that change is impossible.
An obligation to perceive of what is new and different from what is inferred from previous knowledge.
An obligation to make mistakes.
An obligation to daydream.
An obligation to describe things that do not yet exist.

An obligation to be an artist.

Our culture, and the business community, in particular, has an artist deficit. We need more people that aspire to provide products and services that are personal, creative, and passionate. Products and services that change the receiver.

We need more artists, not more managers.

In our current culture, too many leaders pretend that nobody can change anything. That we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field.

But the truth is, every day, individuals, change their world over and over. They do this because they are artists.

Artists make the future. I will make the future by imagining that things can be different.