The Utility Of Urgency (Or How Tension Begets Creativity)

Much of my time last week was spent beneath cliffs of sheer red rock that towered over the St. Vrain River as it snaked its way between groves of poplar and basswood trees. I was in Lyons, Colorado, to perform at an outdoor festival and to teach aspiring songwriters how to sharpen their craft at … More The Utility Of Urgency (Or How Tension Begets Creativity)

Hearing Like Prince: How A Rock Star Can Teach Leaders To Listen

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” —Prince I’m pretty sure you never considered Prince a poster child for leadership, but his uncanny ability to hear would have made him a great one. By the time he hit his stride in the summer of 1984 with the release of his album, Purple … More Hearing Like Prince: How A Rock Star Can Teach Leaders To Listen

Creativity: The Strategic Necessity You May Not Have Thought Of

Want to rent a house? I’ll bet you ten bucks your first move won’t be to call a real estate broker. You’ll search one of dozens of sites like Zillow or StreetEasy. Nagging sore throat? WebMD. Looking to buy a wheelbarrow or a pair of swim goggles? Amazon. And if you stop your Google search … More Creativity: The Strategic Necessity You May Not Have Thought Of

Getting In Touch With Your Inner Third Grader (The art of seeing things for what they are not yet)

Most weeks I’ll get an email or a call from a CEO or an HR executive. She’ll tell me she’s running a half-day meeting and ask if I can I help. “I’d love to try,” I’ll say. “What are your goals?” At this point I’ll brace myself because I sense the C-word is coming. “We … More Getting In Touch With Your Inner Third Grader (The art of seeing things for what they are not yet)

How I Explain the Utility and Necessity of Crowd Funding

This is a gentle tirade. An open letter to a disgruntled fan. I got an email this morning from a friend who’d just gotten off the phone with a “rabid Peter Himmelman fan.” During the conversation this fan mentioned how opposed he was to pledging on Kickstarter. “It actually made him angry,” my friend said. … More How I Explain the Utility and Necessity of Crowd Funding

Stuck in a career rut? (You’re never too old to learn something new.)

Have you ever asked yourself why it’s so hard to teach the proverbial “old dog” new tricks? Maybe he’s a little hard of hearing, maybe he needs a nap, or just maybe, he relies so much on his old tricks that he no longer bothers to try. Well, for Americans at least, not trying isn’t … More Stuck in a career rut? (You’re never too old to learn something new.)

Finding Our Way to Things of Higher Value (How getting lost in your purpose makes the world a better place)

Among the most diabolical torture techniques ever conceived is one in which a victim is repeatedly forced to dig a hole, only to refill it. It’s been applied in different forms and at different times throughout the millennia, and always with the sole intention of destroying morale. There’s something unspeakably painful about subjecting a human … More Finding Our Way to Things of Higher Value (How getting lost in your purpose makes the world a better place)

The Chair and The Man on the Roof (Seeking creative elevation)

This morning I happened to be walking towards a street that was cordoned off with yellow tape. A good half dozen patrol cars were already at the scene, their lights flashing as a crowd of rubberneckers gathered. The source of the commotion was a shirtless man with wild grey hair pacing back and forth high … More The Chair and The Man on the Roof (Seeking creative elevation)

Lessons For & From the Un-Young (Seeing the underestimated value in growing old.)

A friend of mine commented recently that everyone looks good at twenty-two. He’s (almost) right. There’s no denying it. There’s something captivating about youth itself. Youthful hair is good; it’s full and dark — or full and blond as the case may be. Youthful skin is clear and unblemished. But that’s just the physical dimension. … More Lessons For & From the Un-Young (Seeing the underestimated value in growing old.)

The War On Myopia (What I learned from my week at the United States Army War College)

The United States Armed Forces has long defined cognitive myopia, the inability to see outside narrow or habituated frameworks, as a national security concern. And just as a poet or rock musician makes a career of combating narrow-minded thinking, the Armed Forces works to do the very same thing. It may explain why a group … More The War On Myopia (What I learned from my week at the United States Army War College)