“"How many leaders actively seek out and encourage views alien and at odds with their own? All too few...Who in your organization serves as your Challenger In Chief? Interrogating the choices you are considering making? Making you consider the uncontemplated, the unimaginable and that which contradicts or refutes your position? And also challenging you?"”
Up Front: April 2013
I have always maintained that the best people on our team–those who bring the most creativity and fresh ideas to the table–are the ones who have varied and passionate interests outside the office. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that the world (or at least the workplace) conspires against us being able to develop such interests.
Nothing inspires me more than the ballet, for example, and I am fortunate enough to live in New York City, where I have firsthand access to some of the most exquisite ballet in the world. Yet every year, I almost decide to not invest in season tickets, because I start to think about how I won’t have time, it’s too expensive, I have too many emails to get through, it’s too stressful getting to Lincoln Center during rush hour, etc. But then I do go, and the experience always makes everything I encounter afterwards seem more vibrant; the ballet gives me a different perspective on the world, my family and work. Therefore, the investment in season tickets is, as they say, priceless.
Of course, one person’s inspiration is another person’s waste of time. For my husband, for example, the ballet is a slow torture–the Washington Redskins are what inspires him. But it really doesn’t matter what it is that gets your heart beating faster, as long as it does.
For BJT editor Jeff Burger, one out-of-the-office passion is music, and especially that of Bruce Springsteen, whom Jeff admires not only for his performing and songwriting but for his worldview and morality. To find out why, check out Jeff’s just-published book Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches, and Encounters. Even if you’re new to Bruce’s soulful music, you will likely be inspired by this thoughtful compilation of his musings over four decades.