I have a weird way of sabotaging for myself when reading. Somewhere in my adult years, I got this idea that I had to have the perfect circumstances for reading quality books.
Meaning I can’t read when I’m tired, or stressed, or when I only have a few minutes on my hands. “I won’t be able to understand and remember”, I thought to myself.
I don’t know where I picked up this stupid habit but has done zero good for me, so I decided, fuck it, I’m gonna read whenever, wherever, as Shakira would say. (How’s that for a super old reference?)
One of the books I’ve been putting off with that excuse is Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.
Ed Catmull is currently in my top five people I would love to meet. I think we (meaning mostly and probably only me) would have a lot of fun nerding out about management and how to build an environment that people are this excited to go to. His approach to building Pixar aligns very much with how I dream of running a company. Thinking long-term, putting people first, try new things while always contemplating and evaluating the result.
Since my company currently consist of one person (hello 🙋🏻♀️) I can't test these theories in full, but in my project manager role I can definitely draw inspiration from it. Here are few nuggets I’m taking with me from this book.
This should be a goal of every leadership role.
People are everything
So important, and so commonly overlooked.
A catchy mantra can do more damage than good
Fail and fail fast
Everyone (at least in my internet neighborhoods) subscribes to the “fail fast” principle. So do I. But it's one thing to know the theory, acting accordingly is a whole different cookie.
I love this way of explaining it.
Wording matters (in case you didn’t know)
A small change in phrasing can make a huge difference.
It’s not all simple
Excellence over structure
An easy trap to fall into. Focusing all your energy on a magical solution of structure that will solve all problems, effectively draining the creativity out of everyone and in the end not solving anything. It's also difficult to argue with - it always sounds good. "This will make working easier for everyone and let us focus on creating", but in reality, we're just chasing a utopia.
Note to self (and everyone I know)
Include people in your problems
Read if ...
I have about seventy more highlights from the book, and I will make a habit of coming back to them on a regular basis. Definitely worth reading if you're working in a management role or are just the teeny tiniest bit interested in company culture.