My Dad used to tell me that the people you know will shape you. Growing up as an artist and now a businessman I’ve been fortunate to hang with and learn from some of the best.
Jeff Salzman, my long-time buddy and mentor is a gifted writer, author and speaker. His tremendous gift is his keen ability to listen, which makes him a brilliant and loveable guy. This skill is quite underrated. John Aaron is a renowned ceramic artist with a heart for peace. His talent is his cheerful, artful outlook on life, even in the midst of great hardships. My friend Sandy takes care of the developmentally disabled—in her own home—and over the years supported her photographer husband by taking some of the most powerful black and white photos I have ever seen. Their care for others is beautiful and humbling.
I believe it’s a combination of skill and caring that brings out the best in people. People with talent and a strong sense of purpose are an irresistible breed.
It’s stimulating and energizing to me. I love being around people that look to solve problems and make their part of the world a better place. As Jack Nicolson said to Helen Hunt in the movie, As Good as it Gets, “You make me want to be a better person.” That’s the supreme compliment to another human being.
With our nation’s political climate so emotionally charged and locked in philosophical impasse, it’s hard to see these leaders through our own biases. Yet, I am always surprised and encouraged when I hear opposing views coming from authentic and passionate people who makes their ideas known without casting aspersions on their foes.
This is the caring part. Passion without care for others is like grounded energy; it stops the charge and doesn’t empower anything.
Businesses are full of skillful and caring leaders. They are driven by a vision and they know what they want. Some say that they don’t have a clear vision, but are somehow guided by an inner flame of knowing what needs to happen. Money and power don’t drive these people. What drives them is much greater than that.
Challenges, achievement, creating something new, something better and helping others; this is the fuel of these leaders.
Over the years, The Creative Alliance has evolved into The Agency for Visionary Companies because we have learned to understand the leaders driving these businesses. And like anything else in life, when you get to know someone, then you can really begin to help them.
Strategic marketing and creativity are just the skills and framework we use to facilitate this help. It’s a rewarding way to live every day, and it’s what energizes us to deliver our best work.
“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
– John D. Rockefeller