The first half of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography makes some things very clear:
He had no natural ability to play the guitar. In fact, after his first lessons, he quit, unable to play a note.
He had no singing talent. Every band he was in needed a lead singer, and it wasn’t him.
And pretty much everyone fired it. The audience walked out, his first agent simply stopped answering his calls, and the group’s comrades gave up and left.
He didn’t even know how to drive a car. Not only did he not go out to high school, he didn’t even walk around town, being a charismatic rock star.
Talent is overrated. Competence is acquired.
Showing off is something that almost all creative leaders have in common. In business, in the arts, in society. Constantly shipping the work, despite the world’s reaction, despite the nascent nature of our competence, despite the doubts.
And community is essential. The people you surround yourself with can strengthen your story, raise the bar, and encourage you.
After the fact, the community is an integral part of your success story. But first, you have to embark on the journey.
[That’s what happens in the Creative’s Workshop.]
To learn more about creative engagement, check out this extraordinary conversation between Brian Koppelman and director Ron Howard.