Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Exploring Daniel Pink's new book—Drive

Drive by Daniel Pink

I'm deep into Daniel Pink's newest book, Drive. I highly recommend this book. Check out this video! What do you think? Are extrinsic motivators (I.E.—Carrot/Stick way of doing business) thwarting our ability to be creative? Watch the video, read the book, leave your comments!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What am I doing? Part I: WORK/PLAY

If you know me, you know that I love my life. I have an incredible family and a fantastic job(s). Other than a little debt (ok, a lot of debt) from my college years, I really can't complain.

And yet to those people who still ascribe to the "normal" 9-5 work day, I couldn't possibly be happy. In their eyes, I work way to much and I can't draw the line between my work time and my play time. In fact, on more than one occasion, I've been accused of being a workaholic. Perhaps this accusation is true but in the age of constant connectivity, it's hard not to be a workaholic if you're passionate about life. Let's explore this a little bit.

Here's a section from Seth Godin's latest book Tribes:

How Was Your Day?

It's four a.m. and I can't sleep. So I'm sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Jamaica, checking my e-mail. A couple walks by, obviously on their way to bed, having pushed the idea of vacation a little too hard. The woman looks over to me and, in a harsh whisper a little quieter than a yell, says to her friend, "Isn't that sad? That guy comes here on vacation and he's stuck checking his e-mail. he can't even enjoy his two weeks off."

I think the real question-the one they probably wouldn't want to answer-was, "Isn't it sad that we have a job where we spend two weeks avoiding the stuff we have to do fifty weeks a year?"
It took me a long time to figure out why I was so happy to be checking my e-mail in the middle of the night. It had to do with passion. Other than sleeping, there was nothing I'd rather have been doing in that moment-because I'm lucky enough to have a job where I get to make change happen. Even though I don't have many people working for me, I'm in the business of leading people, taking them somewhere we want to go.

Admittedly, I am in constant conflict with myself about the breakdown between my work life and my family life. This isn't an easy task. The reality is that these two worlds are so blended together that, to me, there really isn't a separation anymore. This doesn't mean that my 8 month old daughter has been showing up to conferences with me or that I've been giving bassoon recitals to my wife on a weekly basis. What this really means is that, from a time prospective, I have been intertwining my work and play in a way that—I hope—provides a seamless transition between my two lives.

Why? Because, my work isn't work at all. It's not even close. My work teaching bassoon, my work with Arts Enterprise and my work performing bassoon are three areas so intrinsically valuable to me that I actually look forward to tackling these jobs every day.

The reality here is that my family does, and always will, come first. If tomorrow I stopped teaching at BGSU, I left Arts Enterprise and I put my bassoon away forever, there would be someone filling my shoes in each case who would do the job twice as well. My family, however, is a different story. They are my first priority and striking that balance between the family I love and the work I love is the key to success.

So, what does this have to do with Arts Enterprise? In short, those of us who embody the AE spirit can be the poster children for figuring out this new work/play continuum. As artists, we constantly toe the line between work and play. This never-ending battle is imperative for ultimate success in our world and it can shed a lot of light onto how non-artistically minded individuals could achieve success in this world. For business people, this way of thinking is especially exciting in the high-paced, start-up, world of entrepreneurship where the lines are easily blurred between work and play.

So, how does this post resonate with your life? Do you see similarities in the work style I've set out to achieve? It would be great to hear from you.