Creative Outlet

Gerwig 2014-11-24

Do you have creative talent? Are you a painter? A pianist? A photographer? A sculptor? A writer or poet? If not, don’t worry. You may have another creative outlet. Perhaps you’re a woodworker, cook, or scrapbooker.

While I was walking in Seattle, I noticed the sculpture pictured above. It’s simple, but it caught my eye. I’m not exactly sure what it is or what it represents, a pile of logs perhaps? Regardless, I liked it. As I continued on my way, I saw several works of art – murals, other sculptures, paintings and manicured gardens.

What I began thinking about during that walk was the linkage between “success” and art. I believe there is a connection. Let me explain. Whether you’re highly successful business executive or a world-class athlete, having a creative outlet yields dividends.

First, it’s a stress reliever. A creative outlet or hobby allows you to decompress and put your mind on something else. You get caught up in the creative process. You lose track of time. You get in a zone. You relax.

Second, having a creative outlet gets your creative juices flowing. You exercise unique parts of your brain. A leader who creates works of art improves their problem-solving skills and approaches obstacles with a more open mind.

It doesn’t matter whether or not your “art” is sold or even shared with others. You may prefer to keep your paintings to yourself. Or you may have them displayed in a weekend art show. The choice is yours. The key is to have a creative outlet. The output, the end result, the piece of art, doesn’t matter as much as the process.

If you already have a creative outlet, great. If you don’t, get one. Decide on something you like to do and get started. Think about what you enjoyed doing as a kid. Did you like drawing? Writing stories? Maybe you can take advantage of technology. There are many apps that allow you to create on your tablet. You can take and edit photographs. You can doodle. You can finger paint. Don’t have a tablet, it’s no problem. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil. Or a smartphone (with a built-in camera).

Most people realize the importance of physical exercise and its link to success. Having a creative outlet is a type of exercise as well. It’s a form of mental and, maybe even emotional, exercise.

What is your creative outlet? Do you practice it on a regular basis? Do you share it with others or keep it to yourself?

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

Dr. is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]


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