I just finished reading Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky for the second time in about 15 months; it was just as good the second time around. I've got a feeling this will be a book I read once a year just to stay fresh on all of the good advice Belsky has to offer. In lieu of a normal book review, I thought I would just share a few quotes from the book that got me thinking. Who knows, maybe they'll encourage you to give this book a read! My comments in parentheses.
The ideas that move industries forward are not the result of tremendous creative insight but rather of masterful stewardship. pg. 8.
The journey to a more productive life as a creative leader starts with a candid self-assessment of who you are, your tendencies, and the greatest barriers set before you. pg 18.
Attractive things work better. pg. 43.
(Referring to action steps) If it can be done in under two minutes, it should be done right away. After all, it will take a minute or so just to enter it into your system. pg. 56
Energy is your most precious commodity...you only have a finite amount of it. (Prioritize wisely!) pg. 59.
Meetings that lack both an objective and an actionable outcome should never happen. pg. 80.
Feedback helps to refine existing ideas, spur new innovations, improve your relationship with your colleagues and clients, and build a well of knowledge about what works and doesn't work. pg. 128.
An explosion of insight happens at the intersection of different fields, cultures, and industries. pg. 145.
Some of the greatest obstacles we face in leadership lurk within us. pg. 166.
(Referring to hiring new employees and quoting Jon Ellenthal, President of Walker Digital) I would trade experience for initiative and the raw desire to do stuff in a heartbeat. pg. 179
As you assemble teams around creative projects, probe candidates for their true interests - whatever they may be - and then measure the extent to which the candidate has pursued those interests. Aske for specific examples and seek to understand the lapses of time between interest and action. When you stumble across an Initiator - someone who has passion, generates ideas, and tends to take action - recognize your good fortune. Nothing will assist your ideas more than a team of people who possess real initiative. pg. 179.
It turns out that people thrive when their judgment and autonomy are respected. pg. 181
Enabling new or less-experienced members of your team to share their ideas is how you can develop their reasoning and bring them onboard. pg. 194.
The most challenging one to manage is you. pg. 202
(Referring to dealing with screw ups) Are there any gems in the unintended outcome?...(quoting Francis Ford Coppola) 'Art is partly being available to accidents that fall into your lap.' pg. 207.
There are many more great pieces of advice and practical wisdom in Making Ideas Happen but hopefully this is enough to convince you that reading through this book would be well worth your time. If you've already read this book I'd love to know your thoughts about it via the comments!