“Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out.”

“Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out.”

—Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM

Image from Unsplash by Amauri Acosta Montiel

My daughter Rachel’s favorite animal is the turtle. She has many stuffed animals and other tchotchkes to prove it.

It happens that she has lived a life in which she has stuck her neck out many times to move forward on various personal and professional priorities. In college, she did door-to-door sales for an educational products company. She worked 80-85 hours a week, with plenty of rejections along the way. Nevertheless, she pulled in about $25k each summer, as opposed to the 12-week, minimum wage jobs some of her classmates took on.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you playing it safe in your personal and professional worlds? What top priority issue is calling you to courageously stick your neck out even if you were to progress at a turtle’s pace?

Creativity is Inventing

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, risk-taking, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.”

—Mary Lou Cook, late Peace Activist

During the Personal Excellence Workshop that begins each of my coaching programs, my clients list their personal strengths. I am somewhat surprised that less than half of them include creativity in their list.

When prompted about their level of creativity, they humbly deflect, stating things like, “On Occasion / Not Really,” or “That is why I do _____ for a living.”

I suggest that we all are far more creative than we believe and that we all create our lives each and every day, for better or for worse.

EXERCISE:

How can you take Mary Lou Cook’s coaching to increase your daily level of inventing, experimenting, risk-taking, rule breaking, and mistake making to expand your creative capacity and make your life a lot more fun?