Creativity Is Currency. Put It In The Bank.

Ideas flourish in the minds of all of us. We just need to have the balls to push them forward. Sometimes they work; most often they don’t. I actually like it when some of my ideas don’t work, because it means I am getting closer to one that will. Also, I try to be dogmatic to prove a point. I put myself out there and fail to teach someone a lesson. Sometimes it’s my staff; often, it’s me.

There is risk here; however, I have never cared about the downside. If you’re worried about failing, you will never stretch yourself and maximize your potential. You don’t want to be lying on your death bed thinking you should have done something or tried harder. I think it would be much more rewarding to feel good about your accomplishments, pass on some wisdom, and call it a day. I have come to the conclusion lately that when you die, it is over.

failure

It certainly feels great when you dream up an idea and see it through. It’s even better when you exceed your desired results. Particularly if the “No Storm” crowd was spending extra time pointing out why you shouldn’t waste your effort trying. Oh my – the perpetual “No” people drive me crazy. The only people worse are those that start a sentence with “You don’t understand…” I actually go out of my way to distance myself from these folks. I never hire them. I don’t expect YES woman and men; I just want to be affiliated with people who try. If we try and fail at something, so what. You gain from the experience and learn a thing or two, so when you try it again you improve your chances of success.

I like to perform in an enriched atmosphere that fosters creative thought. I once worked for a leader who said. “Chris, when I see you in the office with your feet up on this sill, music playing, and you staring out the window, I know you’re doing your best work for the company.”

He was right.

The culture, atmosphere, and people who created them allowed me to work at my absolute best. I do that work when I am comfortable. I wear jeans to work most every day. Shorts and tie-dyed Ts in the summer. When we’re visiting with clients, I match their dress but always tell them how I prefer to dress.  Most of the time they agree and say that’s how they dress on the weekends. I don’t like the separation. I am the same guy on Saturday and Sunday as I am Monday through Friday.

tie-dye-shirt

One year I shaved my head, and I scared my wife when I came downstairs. I continued to do this for the next five years. It is not a coincidence that this was a period of dramatic growth at the company I worked for and where I was one of the early employees. We weren’t successful because I shaved my head, but we were successful because we created an atmosphere where you could be bald or have hair down to your shoulders. It was about being contented. We sold the business for several hundred million dollars during this period.  I was there when we received our first wire payment from ING for $2400 just seven years earlier. Over the years we created a culture of hard work, creativity, and fun. Culture is super important and building one from scratch, though not easy, is better than changing one.  Culture also supersedes strategy, as Peter Drucker is claimed to have said, or thought. See my article “Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.”

I believe how you dress reflects how you feel about yourself. How secure you are in your own skin. The environments you work and play in affect how you feel, which, in turn, affects how you dress and how relaxed you are. Comfort enables creativity, in my experience.

Check on the environment you work in. Do you feel comfortable there? Do you get agita on Sundays knowing you have to go to that place on Monday? Worse, is the hangover from your experience from Friday bleeding into Saturday? If so, you are in a perpetual world of hurt from where you work. You have almost no chance to draw on your creative energy to develop and act on an idea. If you can, try working from home. We belong to a cabana club on the Jersey Shore. It is beautiful, and we are so lucky to be members. This year when it has been nice, I have been working from the club. When I need privacy, I close the door. If I don’t, I sit on the beach. I have Wi-Fi, two iPads, and two phones. I am connected to my company and staff. More important, I am in an atmosphere where I feel great. I can move from a contract negotiation call to dreamy thoughts about how we are going to develop a new lead development technique in minutes.

Let your freak flag fly, and create an environment where you enjoy spending time. You won’t realize you are working and your creativity will soar. In time, you won’t be surprised to see the results start to pile up.

My best, Chris.

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About the author: Christian J. Farber and wife Susan live in Tinton Falls, NJ. Their home is near the shore where they spend a lot of time at the beach with their three boys. Chris is a featured and contributing author on many social media platforms. These include The Huffington Post, Good Men Project and LinkedIn. Chris has had a long career in Marketing and Sales. He is a visionary thinker on business development. Chris has a reputation for building high-performing marketing and sales teams. His unique management style focuses on allowing people to perform without pressure or interference. Chris led many successful teams and performed transformation work at State Street Bank. Further, he has had success at start-up companies like Albridge Solutions. At Albridge, Chris was an early employee and helped lead the company’s dramatic growth. Albridge, acquired by PNC Bank in 2008 for more than $300 million, is now a unit of The Bank of New York.

10 thoughts on “Creativity Is Currency. Put It In The Bank.

  1. I did it and got the best out of life. Fun to play around your interests. My contributions to newspaper reviews helped me discover that I could find leisure in writing. Had been writing everyday.

    Learn to discover where your deep interest lies and you will soon put smiles to the latent strength sitting right there untapped.

    Yours could be singing, while others could be as simple as following through a project. They are so skilled that they could study the details to the letter. Give expression to the seemingly insignificant ability.They could be very useful to me or another person sitting right there.

    We’ve got to be useful to one another. There is something unique about you. It’s easy with you but a difficult task with another. Some are crying to have it. Give it to them and let us make this world a beautiful place to live in. It is not about what we get out of it. It is about satisfying the law of nature….giving out what we have freely received.

    It erupts an intrinsic happiness that keeps us on. Have you seen a “Pele” on the field of play, what of a “Shakespeare” in the act of writing, or rather a “Serena” in the court of lawn tennis? How do you feel?

    Creativity is life.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Chris, your post is just wonderful but don’t have the right words to express the magnitude. Very cerebral and more mangers could learn for your words…allow your employees to be free to think and accomplish things!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They were so certain that what I was saying in Mandarin Chinese wasn’t what I wanted to be saying in Mandarin Chinese. Once we got that sorted out, the windows looked like that Star Trek episode where the planet was crammed full of so many people that they couldn’t move, so they were all looking through the windows of the imitation Enterprise. I had long red curls. Freak out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This a great statement “Let your freak flag fly, and create an environment where you enjoy spending time. You won’t realize you are working and your creativity will soar. In time, you won’t be surprised to see the results start to pile up.”. Nice post. Please check out my additional new blog site ThusNSuch – https://amanpan.blog/

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  4. This is such a good read Chris. I resonate with this attitude because I started working in a company where music was played louder than the sound of us talking to customers. Where dressing was never an issue and all that mattered were numbers at the end of the day. That brought in most of the productivity than, when we were asked to sit and work like we were in a funeral. After being at that job for 4 years , I’ve never come across any employer as such until now. Comfort brings creativity. Agreed,Enjoyed and shared 🤗

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    1. Thanks Fatima. I try to set the tone at every place I go. I used to wear my tie dye shirts at State Street to a number of shaking heads but I just didn’t care. Thanks for your comment and support of my efforts here. CF

      Liked by 1 person

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