Going With the System Can Only Take You so Far

Does Consensus Kill Courage?

Cartoon of man selling idea to skeptical businessmen

Carey Nieuwhof had a great post entitled, The Truth About How Consensus Kills CourageHe had some great points on how committees can knock the wind out of  good ideas. In his post, he said,

When it comes to courageous change, here are four things that are true:

Committees kill vision

Individuals are almost always more courageous than teams

The more people you seek to please up front, the less inspiring your idea will become

Leaders don’t always walk alone, but sometimes they have to start alone.

 As someone who has worked in a creative environment, I have seen this happen wherever I worked. I have seen this happen to my ideas. And I’ll have to admit, I’ve been on the other side of the table and have killed or watered down other’s ideas. After all, that’s what critique groups are for, right?

Actually, no! Committees and critique groups are gatekeepers to ideas. If you have a great idea, it is your job to sell it to the group.

  • This will require you to do your homework.
  • This will require you to fight for your idea.
  • It may even require you to compromise a little. But you must have the courage and conviction to fight for your idea.

That doesn’t mean every idea you have is worth fighting for. You’ll have to do your homework and be prepared to make that decision. Once you decide that it is an idea worthy of selling, then have the courage to sell it.

That’s how great ideas are born.

Smelling the Roses

Illustration of a man and a hostile rose. The caption reads, “Even stopping to smell the roses can be hazardous.”

I drew this sketch last year. Some days. You have to watch those roses. Most have thorns, but I swear some have teeth too!

Secret Wisdom for Illustrators Shared

I found this originally through the blog, Drawn! Keri Smith is an illustrator, author and art professor with some good, pragmatic advice.


Age is No Excuse

I came across this blog post about creativity and aging.

Mary Sayler: In A Writer’s Life: Artistic, creative people get creative at any age

I agree with her assertion that at any age people can find creative outlets.

It reminded me of my grandfather. He was a minister for over fifty years at the same church. He was sharp as a tack until he retired from the ministry and had no plan for what retirement would look like. He slowly lost his mental acuity and his passion for life.

We all have a calling. Age or retirement is not a reason to abandon your calling. Keep doing what you were born to do.

I’ve see children’s ministry volunteers who lose their passion once their kids leave the ministry. But some of the greatest volunteers I’ve seen have volunteered way past retirement age. If you have a passion for teaching kids, don’t give up because your child has grown up.

I have a passion for writing and drawing for children. I also have a passion for children’s ministry. I’ve been so glad to have the last week to be able to focus on my calling and realize what a need there is for people with a passion.

What’s your calling? No matter what your age is, make a commitment to do what you were born to do!