Stretch Yourself to Capture an Edge…

Creative people see the world through a slightly different lens than, say, someone who is a hard-core analytical thinker.

Let me give you an example of a creative vs. an analytical mind.

I have a ceiling fan over my head. It’s squeaking and squawking with each revolution. So of course, my creative mind starts working like this…”If it fell off the ceiling right now, would I be decapitated? And I wonder who first called a head a cap? I know a lot of caps were removed during the French Revolution. Maybe decapitated  is a French word that means ‘Don’t be arrogant or have a lot of money, or we will have to de-head you!’

But it continues.

“And grammatically speaking, why do you get DE-capitated but BE-headed? Shouldn’t they both be DE or BE? And if decapitation is to have your head removed, how did we end up calling a fixed payment remitted at regular intervals to a medical provider by a managed care organization for an enrolled patient as “capitation“? Does this payment put heads back on? And what about…?”

That’s how a creative thinks. A creative can take in information from a specific point and think through hundreds of seemingly random and unrelated thoughts, thoughts that are actually quite logical and connected. But these thoughts really make the most sense to another creative.

Contrast a hard-core analytical sitting under the same ceiling fan. I have a scientist neighbor, and I think that this is how he would see things…

“If the fan falls down on top of me, I certainly won’t be decapitated. And besides, decapitation isn’t a bad way to go. The ancient Romans practiced decapitation on its criminal citizens since beheading as a form of punishment was quicker, less painful and far less barbaric than the crucifixion they used on non-citizens.”

“Now the French, they really mastered decapitation. Physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin championed a humane means of dispatching convicts, leading surgeon Antoine Louis to engineer the first Guillotin. According to some researchers, it’s been speculated that one can remain conscious for several seconds following decapitation by Guillotin, but since the French last used the tool in 1975, no modern, empirical research exists to quantify that speculation….”

See the difference? Deep thought and discourse on a relatively narrow range of topics. Creative minds think all around the box which is what makes them creative. Analytical minds REALLY KNOW THE BOX INSIDE AND OUT which makes them experts on the contents.

So what’s my point? I’ll give you a hint. I’m not talking about decapitation. And I’m not trying to show that one type is superior to the other.

Here’s what I’m saying: To maximize your success, stretch yourself.

Creative roles like designers, artists, photographers and writers might be brilliant in the act of creation but may struggle with attention to detail in more concrete disciplines. Stretch yourself or surround yourself with someone whose skills compensate for what you ain’t got. If you want to keep customers happy, be more than a creative genius. Be someone who delivers 1% more than the next creative guru.

Analytical, deep-dive subject-matter experts like project managers, scientists and technology sorts sometimes struggle to stay on track with discussions that…are NOT ON TRACK. Anything outside of the “facts” can be overwhelming. Stretch yourself or surround yourself with someone whose skills compensate for what you ain’t got. If you want to keep customers happy, be more than a subject-matter expert. Be someone who delivers 1% more than the next genius.

I need a break. I’ve been thinking so hard that I’ve given myself a cap ache…


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