Woz and Jobs

Perhaps one of the greatest examples of Resourcefulness was the start-up of Apple Computers. Steve Jobs was “a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing,” said Walter Isaacson in his biography, “Steve Jobs.” They were 2 scruffy looking hippies with the potential of greatness if they were willing to put in the long haul.



It was the ultimate left-brain/right-brain pairing of Jobs and Wozniuk in a ‘struggle’ situation that gave Apple Computer its potential. They had a vision, a product, a plan and $1300 in working capital from pawning an HP calculator and a Volkswagon bus. The fusion of counter-culture with engineering made the venture “whole-brained.” They had 30 days to deliver on a $25,000 order that would be made in the garage of Job’s parents home by all available hands. The machines were hand-assembled, marketed and sold by their makers. They were creative in saving money, finding cash flow and part of a burgeoning revolution that transformed the world we live in.


That is the Art of Resourcefulness.


The Magic of Thinking Big

When life gets carried away, busy or difficult I constantly have to remind myself to ‘tune-up’ my thoughts and make sure I’ve made a ‘thought inventory’ list; assessing what I’m asking for in life or unconsciously setting. I ask myself when creating a new venture, art show or just where I want to be in life; “How big am I thinking?”

Resourcefulness is not about how much money you spend on a creative project or venture but rather how courageous and powerful our ideas are when setting it in motion. Sometimes we are afraid of asking for what we truly desire or lack the courage to think big because it involves change. However, I’m never disappointed from my thought results and now over the years, I’ve learned to be more discerning and open-minded with my requests and ideas. Make a list, put it away…nobody needs to know but you!

Here is a list of my favourite mentors over the years who have reminded me to think bigger:

Stored Potential

Creativity at it’s most powerful is when there is ‘stored potential energy‘ that is built up and then released as work. The ‘work’ is the creative output…a painting, a song, a poem, an architectural rendering, an idea, a book or a business. In order to for the creative output to be at its most powerful, the creator must consider what their potential energy is before they do their work.

Mr. Bob Advent was my funny and brilliant Physics 11 and 12 teacher who made physics interesting and fun. Most importantly, he conveyed the concepts of ‘potential’ in a way that could be understood and applied in the everyday world to high school students. Ever since high school, I’ve consciously applied the notions of stored potential to my creative endeavours by witnessing what actions in my life create the most powerful potential just before I release it as creative output.

Potential creates a vector field of forces or a “force field” around us which is one of our most powerful creative tools. Finding ways to amplify your stored potential before you release it into the force field is how we create powerful work. Understanding physics is some of the best homework a creator can do. May the force be with you.


Creative Leadership

Creative Leadership is one of the foremost emerging topics in business today because we are rediscovering as a society that the two are not separate entities, but aspects of the same animal. Here is a great interview of Sir Ken Robinson on “The Principles of Creative Leadership” in by Fastcompany. It’s an excellent example of why creativity is the number one issue in the minds of CEO’s everywhere and how we disengaged creativity from leadership somewhere down the line.

Creative Leadership is a unique opportunity to meld the big picture, idea generating right brain with the strategies and practical foresight of the left brain. Working together, they naturally generate and sustain creative leadership skills. From this perspective, one can’t imagine how the two ever became separated in the corporate world or our educational systems. Most fine art schools don’t teach business and most business schools don’t teach creativity and art so there is a huge disconnect in our society. Future generations need to be taught ‘Whole Brain” Creative Leadership strategies in order for our institutions and organizations to flourish.

Leadership is the art of creation and creation is about the art of leadership.


The Root of Resourcefulness

Contradiction is the root of resourcefulness. The combination of left and right, vision and strategy, big picture and details, is the wholeness of one’s creation.

Contradiction needs to be embraced in order for any creation to achieve greatness. Ones’ ability to create shifts with their gifts depends on it. It’s the contradiction of life that fuels the potential to create all things.

Superheroe Struggle

My favourite “creativity” guru, Robert Genn posted this letter on May 8th about “Post-Traumatic Growth” , the idea of growth through struggle and how Superheros have resonated with an entire generation because of how they make us feel.  Below is an excerpt from Genn’s post which begins by defining the psychological study of growth through struggle (which I call “Resourcefulness”). How can you turn struggle and limitation into the greatest business or painting or film or song you’ve ever created? That is the Art of Resourcefulness.

“Post-traumatic growth is a relatively new area of psychological study. It deals with the positive changes experienced by some people as a result of a struggle with challenging life circumstances. It’s not simply a return to the way things were before the suffering, but the welcome experience of a profound improvement.

The idea that suffering can be channelled to make us stronger runs through the history of philosophies and religions. While most of us no longer believe that artists need to suffer to make good art, we do know that a lot of good art comes from people who have suffered.

Dr. Robin Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist based in Stanford, California, has introduced an interesting method whereby sufferers can grow their way out of trauma. Much like Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces Rosenberg thinks folks can gain strength by following popular superheroes and their stories. We’re talking about the sort of characters in the current blockbuster action/ violence/ heroism movie, The Avengers–Hawkeye, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and Nick Fury. She also thinks we should pay attention to Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Joker. This is good stuff–I’ve often thought there’s more in comic books than meets the eye.

Dr. Rosenberg’s superheroes teach us a variety of life lessons. Among them:

+ We all have alter egos

+ We need to wear the costumes of our heroes

+ Being different can give us power

+ Adversity can be overcome

+ No matter what our abilities, life is frustrating

+ To overcome our fears, we need to run toward danger

You can find more of Robert’s insights on-line at http://www.painterskeys.com


Tony Robbins on Resourcefulness

Tony Robbins does an amazing job explaining that missing resources are NOT the defining factor of our failure to reach goals.  In this TED Talk, “Why we do what we do and we can do it better”, he asks what shapes our ability to contribute to society when some people seem to have all the resources and end up in rehab and yet others who struggled from a place of limitation and lack of resources managed to contribute the most to society. What is shaping your ability to contribute?

His famous quote that I love is around the 6 minute mark of his video presentation on :

“The defining factor is never resources, it’s resourcefulness” – Tony Robbins

Watch the video for yourself here:


Communicating a Vision

Communicating a vision is essential for clarity in any effective team environment. Without clear and concise descriptions, translation is lost, creating the opposite effects of confusion and frustration.

How does one communicate their vision clearly to others? By outlining a detailed strategy.

Strategy is the Yin and Vision is the Yang in the “wholeness” of creation. Both are needed, both are essential. They are both susceptible to “Flow” and the magical unfolding of the universe. This is how the captain steers the boat. The vision is the big picture goals and ultimate manifestation; the strategy is the GPS directions on how to get there; but the actual steering, the driving, the living, the breathing of doing the work to get to that ultimate vision is the fine Art of Allowing.

The “Art of Allowing” is the actual process of Flow which takes Wisdom and Faith to execute well. This is the essential ingredient for Leadership. You must understand Flow to be a truly successful leader and for this one must be strong in Faith and Wisdom.