Skill and Expertise

One of the requirements of being indispensable is acquiring skills. Skills don’t come naturally…they’re achieved. They are the product of curiosity, the desire to make change and an abundance of practice…try, fail, adjust, retry. 

Hard skills like making espresso, piloting an airplane and woodworking will get you noticed. But increasingly (mainly because hard skills are easier to come by) it’s the soft skills, the art, the emotional part of the work that’s seen. Songwriting is a skill. But without the emotional labor of putting it into the world it’s not likely to make much of an impact. The daring work of performing for someone is scarce…yet the stage is available for all of us, everyday.

Everyone should be an expert in something…is more true now than ever before. The opportunity to level up and be remarkable has never been better. It’s a matter of choice…first to lean in…then to pick where to go. Choose wisely…but please just choose to go somewhere.

Privilege of Artful Work

A job is more than a chance to do the work someone else prescribes. It’s an opportunity to show your best self, approach and do work in such a way that it changes someone. We all know when we experience someone in this state, it’s a magical and remarkable experience.

Showing up and meeting the standard is important…it’s work that needs to be done. Performing the work in such a way that it moves someone is a choice. It comes with the risk that it might not work. But it’s also one we all deserve. Choose wisely.

Sticking Your Neck Out

Part of practicing art...doing something remarkable, something that gets noticed is to go where others choose not to go. By putting this sort of skin in the game you almost always get two things…a connection with at least one person who sees the world as you do. And someone else will be offended, annoyed or angered. Art is never appreciated by everyone. Nor should it be. If it were, all things would be relatively the same, alas we'd live in a very boring and average world. Thankfully there are people who enjoy sticking out their necks to do work that matters…the understand the trade-off between risk and reward. And better yet they understand that playing it safe is the most risky thing of all.

Props to the 21C hotel in Bentonville, Arkansas for getting my attention with this little guy at the lobby entry.