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The Accidental Creative

AccidentalCreative.com - Todd Henry

128
Followers
285
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The Accidental Creative

The Accidental Creative

AccidentalCreative.com - Todd Henry

128
Followers
285
Plays
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About Us

The Accidental Creative podcast shares how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, and Louder Than Words) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at AccidentalCreative.com.

Latest Episodes

Bravery In The Workplace

This is part four of a series on everyday bravery. If there is one place where bravery is most needed (and often most lacking) it’s in the workplace.Brave people create brave workplaces, and brave workplaces ultimately change the world around them. However, in order for a culture to operate by principles of bravery, individuals must be willing to engage in brave actions every day. Here are a few principles for engaging bravely in your workplace: Own your words and actions. ​Be an individual with a backbone. If you say or do something, accept the consequences, whether good or bad, for your choices. Never throw a teammate under the bus. Taking accountability for your actions does a few things. First, it signals to others that they can trust you to shoulder responsibility, and to do the right thing. This is no small matter. If others sense that you’re playing games and that your primary interest is in protecting yourself and your reputation above actually performing, they will tolerate you but will never trust you. Second, it removes the stigma of falling short. If we are doing difficult things, we are going to fail occasionally. A workplace culture in which nothing difficult is attempted requires no bravery. Only teams on a mission to do difficult things need to be brave. Taking accountability for poor results, and attempting to fix them, is a signal of authenticity and courage, and it pushes others to do the same. This is the essence of good leadership. We can never tolerate blame shifting. Is there something you need to take accountability for today? Encourage​.This literally means to “put courage into” others. Brave people embolden the people around them, speak words of affirmation to them, and cheer them on to be their best. They are not threatened by the successes of others. Cowards hold back encouragement because they believe that life is a zero-sum game, and that if someone else gets attention for something it will only tarnish their own standing with the group. However, brave people willingly and truthfully put courage into others, recognizing that we need one another in order to succeed. Brave people are outward focused. Cowards are obsessed with themselves and their own needs and feelings. Who can you encourage today? Be proactive about putting courage into others. Embrace personal growth, even when you look foolish.​Some people fear trying new things, learning new skills, or tackling new kinds of projects because they fear that if they fail they will be “found out”. Brave people know that occasional failure is simply a part of doing hard things. To grow, you have to stretch yourself to the point of failure. Now, you have to balance this with wisdom, meaning that you shouldn’t attempt things that are obviously well beyond your present ability. (Just because I’ve climbed rocks in an indoor, controlled facility doesn’t mean I’m ready to free climb half-dome.) Intentionally stretch yourself, have uncomfortable but necessary conversations, and push yourself to learn new skills even when you will appear foolish to those around you for a while. What do you need to do in order to grow yourself? Share your ideas, even when they aren’t received.​You cannot control whether someone else likes your ideas, but you can control whether or not you share them. The regret over inaction is too high a price to pay. If you are in a meeting and you have an intuition that something might work, share it. Share your insights with a peer who is struggling with a difficult problem.

16 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Bravery In The Workplace

Qualities of Brave Leadership

This week's episode of The Accidental Creative Podcast is about the qualities that brave leaders exhibit. As I mentioned a few episodes ago, if I had to choose one gift to impart upon every person I meet - one master key that unlocks their potential - it would be bravery. We need radical bravery in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, and - God help us - in our politics. If more people committed to making brave choices daily, we would see stronger, more effective teams, less corruption, less unhealthy conflict, and more progress on the societal issues that truly matter. Organizations need leaders committed to cultivating a culture of bravery, and who themselves are making brave choices in the face of uncertainty. The marketplace needs more business owners who are willing to step up and do the right thing for their employees and their communities, even at the risk of personal cost. And, society needs more people to cultivate brave, empathetic relationships with people who ...

16 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Qualities of Brave Leadership

Bravery vs. Cowardice (part 2)

This is the second episode of a series on the importance of bravery. Just to re-cap, in the last episode I gave this definition of bravery: Bravery exists whenever someone a person engages in right action at the potential expense of their own comfort.​ Cowardice, on the other hand, exists when someone chooses self-protection at the expense of right action. It is possible to appear brave to others while actually behaving in a cowardly way, or to appear a coward to others while doing the brave thing. In order for something to be considered an act of bravery, it must be sourced in the desire to do what’s right even at the risk of personal cost. Which begs the question: how do you decide what’s ​right?​ On this episode, I want to share a few distinctions between everyday bravery and cowardice, then on upcoming episodes I’m going to share the specifics of what this means, especially in a work context. Understand that every single person at times exhibits remarkable bravery, and als...

18 MINJUN 1
Comments
Bravery vs. Cowardice (part 2)

Fear Of Missing Out (with Patrick McGinnis)

Is the grass truly greener on the other side of the fence? Many creative pros spend their career wondering if there is a better path for them, or whether they're missing out on something that everyone else knows about. This can result in hopping from job to job, or never really fully embracing the opportunities in front of you because you're always "hedging your bets" and looking for a better option. Patrick McGinnis coined the phrase Fear Of Missing Out in a college paper several years ago, and he's just released a book by the same title to help us work through our anxiety about forgoing opportunities. Here are a few key ideas to help us avoid FOMO: Move Toward, Not Away From I've had many conversations with people who never seem to be satisfied with their job. They hop from company to company thinking that there has to be some place that will better mesh with what they're looking for. The problem is that these people are often chasing vapor. They are perpetually moving away from s...

23 MINMAY 28
Comments
Fear Of Missing Out (with Patrick McGinnis)

The Hero Myth

If I had to choose one gift to impart upon every person I meet - one master key that unlocks their potential - it would be bravery. We need radical bravery in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, and - God help us - in our politics. If more people committed to making brave choices daily, we would see stronger, more effective teams, less corruption, less unhealthy conflict, and more progress on the societal issues that truly matter. Organizations need leaders committed to cultivating a culture of bravery, and who themselves are making brave choices in the face of uncertainty. The marketplace needs more business owners who are willing to step up and do the right thing for their employees and their communities, even at the risk of personal cost. And, society needs more people to cultivate brave, empathetic relationships with people who think differently from them. My ambition with this manifesto is to inspire an epidemic of everyday bravery both in and out of the workplace. ...

16 MINMAY 25
Comments
The Hero Myth

Protecting Your Mindset During This Season

The biggest challenge that we’re facing right now as creative pros is not necessarily economic or physical, it’s psychological. I believe that those who come through this season not only having survived, but ready to thrive, will be those who are able to adopt a mindset that is realistic yet focused on possibilities and not limitations. Yes, current circumstances are hitting everyone in different ways and are much more challenging for some than others. And, I want us to focus today on a few beliefs that I find creeping into the mindset of many people I’m chatting with these days, and hopefully identify them and learn to counter them before they rob us of our focus, our goals, and our sense of curiosity and possibility. I’m tired of not being tired. That sounds like a strange thing, no? But really, it’s very normal and natural. As humans, we are wired for rhythm, which means that we thrive in cycles of tension and release. One of the dynamics that’s been causing grief among man...

18 MINMAY 19
Comments
Protecting Your Mindset During This Season

Avoiding The Advice Trap (with Michael Bungay Stanier)

This week's Accidental Creative podcast features Michael Bungay Stanier discussing his book The Advice Trap. Have you ever been in a situation where someone offered unsolicited advice? "Let me tell you what you need to do..." How did it feel? If you're like me, you were probably grateful that they wanted to help, but it put you in the awkward position of either refusing their advice or, if they were your manager, acting on it just to avoid offending them in spite of your better instincts. It's tempting to fall into the "advice trap", which is when we lead with advice-giving instead of pausing to listen to the other person, to consider what they really need, and to ask questions that help them arrive at the answer on their own. Not only is this a better way to ensure that we are truly helping the other person, but it's also the best way to help them learn to solve problems on their own. Here are a few things I took away from my chat with Michael: Lead With Curiosity Ask a lot of ques...

28 MINMAY 13
Comments
Avoiding The Advice Trap (with Michael Bungay Stanier)

Think Like A Rocket Scientist (with Ozan Varol)

Albert Einstein once wrote "The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them." In order to go to new places in life and work, we need to expand our thinking beyond the confines of our assumptions. But how do we do that? This week's podcast episode features Ozan Varol, who has just released a book called Think Like A Rocket Scientist. In it, he articulates several strategies for breaking through assumptive ruts and taking your work to a new level. Here are a few of my takeaways from the conversation: You Must Question Your Assumptions In the past, I've frustrated many managers and peers for my annoying tendency to ask lots of "why?" questions. I've never been able to simply accept the way things are, and that can be very inconvenient when you're trying to make quick progress on a project. However, this tendency has also served me well, because it's frequently allowed me to circ...

25 MINAPR 30
Comments
Think Like A Rocket Scientist (with Ozan Varol)

A Beautiful Anarchy (with David duChemin)

This week's podcast episode features David duChemin talking about his book and podcast A Beautiful Anarchy. When most of us tell the story of our career journey, it's often a very linear tale. "And then, I left that job and took this one. Then, I decided to step away for a bit and start something new. Then, I took a role with a marketing firm." However, the reality is much more complex. Most of our lives and our career journeys are much more circuitous in nature. My friend Mitch Joel calls it "the squiggly path", meaning that it veers left and right and doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason looking forward, but looking back it all begins to make sense. My career path was definitely "squiggly". As I discuss with David duChemin in this week's episode about his book and podcast A Beautiful Anarchy, twenty years ago I could never have imagined the career I'm in now. However, looking back, the clues were there all along. (There weren't many early-twenty-something musicians dragging pers...

28 MINAPR 28
Comments
A Beautiful Anarchy (with David duChemin)

Chopped, Creativity, and (Not) Thinking Big (with Dave Noll)

Dave Noll and his business partner are the creators of the hit TV series Chopped, as well as a number of other popular television programs. Every day they bounce ideas off of one another, combining themes and smashing old concepts together to form new possible programs. In our conversation, Dave and I engaged in a little “idea bouncing” as well. Here are a few of the practical tips that emerged in our chat: Keep A Queue Of Old Ideas When you engage in a project, you probably end up with a lot of discarded ideas that didn’t quite work out. What happens to those ideas? Many people simply discard them on the trash heap and start fresh with the next project. However, it’s wise to keep a queue of these old, but not quite right ideas. Keep them in a notebook, or on index cards, or someplace where you can browse them later. Often, an idea that’s not right now is the perfect idea for a later project, but you would never have remembered it unless you had a system to help you do so. At t...

38 MINAPR 21
Comments
Chopped, Creativity, and (Not) Thinking Big (with Dave Noll)

Latest Episodes

Bravery In The Workplace

This is part four of a series on everyday bravery. If there is one place where bravery is most needed (and often most lacking) it’s in the workplace.Brave people create brave workplaces, and brave workplaces ultimately change the world around them. However, in order for a culture to operate by principles of bravery, individuals must be willing to engage in brave actions every day. Here are a few principles for engaging bravely in your workplace: Own your words and actions. ​Be an individual with a backbone. If you say or do something, accept the consequences, whether good or bad, for your choices. Never throw a teammate under the bus. Taking accountability for your actions does a few things. First, it signals to others that they can trust you to shoulder responsibility, and to do the right thing. This is no small matter. If others sense that you’re playing games and that your primary interest is in protecting yourself and your reputation above actually performing, they will tolerate you but will never trust you. Second, it removes the stigma of falling short. If we are doing difficult things, we are going to fail occasionally. A workplace culture in which nothing difficult is attempted requires no bravery. Only teams on a mission to do difficult things need to be brave. Taking accountability for poor results, and attempting to fix them, is a signal of authenticity and courage, and it pushes others to do the same. This is the essence of good leadership. We can never tolerate blame shifting. Is there something you need to take accountability for today? Encourage​.This literally means to “put courage into” others. Brave people embolden the people around them, speak words of affirmation to them, and cheer them on to be their best. They are not threatened by the successes of others. Cowards hold back encouragement because they believe that life is a zero-sum game, and that if someone else gets attention for something it will only tarnish their own standing with the group. However, brave people willingly and truthfully put courage into others, recognizing that we need one another in order to succeed. Brave people are outward focused. Cowards are obsessed with themselves and their own needs and feelings. Who can you encourage today? Be proactive about putting courage into others. Embrace personal growth, even when you look foolish.​Some people fear trying new things, learning new skills, or tackling new kinds of projects because they fear that if they fail they will be “found out”. Brave people know that occasional failure is simply a part of doing hard things. To grow, you have to stretch yourself to the point of failure. Now, you have to balance this with wisdom, meaning that you shouldn’t attempt things that are obviously well beyond your present ability. (Just because I’ve climbed rocks in an indoor, controlled facility doesn’t mean I’m ready to free climb half-dome.) Intentionally stretch yourself, have uncomfortable but necessary conversations, and push yourself to learn new skills even when you will appear foolish to those around you for a while. What do you need to do in order to grow yourself? Share your ideas, even when they aren’t received.​You cannot control whether someone else likes your ideas, but you can control whether or not you share them. The regret over inaction is too high a price to pay. If you are in a meeting and you have an intuition that something might work, share it. Share your insights with a peer who is struggling with a difficult problem.

16 MIN4 d ago
Comments
Bravery In The Workplace

Qualities of Brave Leadership

This week's episode of The Accidental Creative Podcast is about the qualities that brave leaders exhibit. As I mentioned a few episodes ago, if I had to choose one gift to impart upon every person I meet - one master key that unlocks their potential - it would be bravery. We need radical bravery in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, and - God help us - in our politics. If more people committed to making brave choices daily, we would see stronger, more effective teams, less corruption, less unhealthy conflict, and more progress on the societal issues that truly matter. Organizations need leaders committed to cultivating a culture of bravery, and who themselves are making brave choices in the face of uncertainty. The marketplace needs more business owners who are willing to step up and do the right thing for their employees and their communities, even at the risk of personal cost. And, society needs more people to cultivate brave, empathetic relationships with people who ...

16 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Qualities of Brave Leadership

Bravery vs. Cowardice (part 2)

This is the second episode of a series on the importance of bravery. Just to re-cap, in the last episode I gave this definition of bravery: Bravery exists whenever someone a person engages in right action at the potential expense of their own comfort.​ Cowardice, on the other hand, exists when someone chooses self-protection at the expense of right action. It is possible to appear brave to others while actually behaving in a cowardly way, or to appear a coward to others while doing the brave thing. In order for something to be considered an act of bravery, it must be sourced in the desire to do what’s right even at the risk of personal cost. Which begs the question: how do you decide what’s ​right?​ On this episode, I want to share a few distinctions between everyday bravery and cowardice, then on upcoming episodes I’m going to share the specifics of what this means, especially in a work context. Understand that every single person at times exhibits remarkable bravery, and als...

18 MINJUN 1
Comments
Bravery vs. Cowardice (part 2)

Fear Of Missing Out (with Patrick McGinnis)

Is the grass truly greener on the other side of the fence? Many creative pros spend their career wondering if there is a better path for them, or whether they're missing out on something that everyone else knows about. This can result in hopping from job to job, or never really fully embracing the opportunities in front of you because you're always "hedging your bets" and looking for a better option. Patrick McGinnis coined the phrase Fear Of Missing Out in a college paper several years ago, and he's just released a book by the same title to help us work through our anxiety about forgoing opportunities. Here are a few key ideas to help us avoid FOMO: Move Toward, Not Away From I've had many conversations with people who never seem to be satisfied with their job. They hop from company to company thinking that there has to be some place that will better mesh with what they're looking for. The problem is that these people are often chasing vapor. They are perpetually moving away from s...

23 MINMAY 28
Comments
Fear Of Missing Out (with Patrick McGinnis)

The Hero Myth

If I had to choose one gift to impart upon every person I meet - one master key that unlocks their potential - it would be bravery. We need radical bravery in our workplaces, our schools, our neighborhoods, and - God help us - in our politics. If more people committed to making brave choices daily, we would see stronger, more effective teams, less corruption, less unhealthy conflict, and more progress on the societal issues that truly matter. Organizations need leaders committed to cultivating a culture of bravery, and who themselves are making brave choices in the face of uncertainty. The marketplace needs more business owners who are willing to step up and do the right thing for their employees and their communities, even at the risk of personal cost. And, society needs more people to cultivate brave, empathetic relationships with people who think differently from them. My ambition with this manifesto is to inspire an epidemic of everyday bravery both in and out of the workplace. ...

16 MINMAY 25
Comments
The Hero Myth

Protecting Your Mindset During This Season

The biggest challenge that we’re facing right now as creative pros is not necessarily economic or physical, it’s psychological. I believe that those who come through this season not only having survived, but ready to thrive, will be those who are able to adopt a mindset that is realistic yet focused on possibilities and not limitations. Yes, current circumstances are hitting everyone in different ways and are much more challenging for some than others. And, I want us to focus today on a few beliefs that I find creeping into the mindset of many people I’m chatting with these days, and hopefully identify them and learn to counter them before they rob us of our focus, our goals, and our sense of curiosity and possibility. I’m tired of not being tired. That sounds like a strange thing, no? But really, it’s very normal and natural. As humans, we are wired for rhythm, which means that we thrive in cycles of tension and release. One of the dynamics that’s been causing grief among man...

18 MINMAY 19
Comments
Protecting Your Mindset During This Season

Avoiding The Advice Trap (with Michael Bungay Stanier)

This week's Accidental Creative podcast features Michael Bungay Stanier discussing his book The Advice Trap. Have you ever been in a situation where someone offered unsolicited advice? "Let me tell you what you need to do..." How did it feel? If you're like me, you were probably grateful that they wanted to help, but it put you in the awkward position of either refusing their advice or, if they were your manager, acting on it just to avoid offending them in spite of your better instincts. It's tempting to fall into the "advice trap", which is when we lead with advice-giving instead of pausing to listen to the other person, to consider what they really need, and to ask questions that help them arrive at the answer on their own. Not only is this a better way to ensure that we are truly helping the other person, but it's also the best way to help them learn to solve problems on their own. Here are a few things I took away from my chat with Michael: Lead With Curiosity Ask a lot of ques...

28 MINMAY 13
Comments
Avoiding The Advice Trap (with Michael Bungay Stanier)

Think Like A Rocket Scientist (with Ozan Varol)

Albert Einstein once wrote "The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them." In order to go to new places in life and work, we need to expand our thinking beyond the confines of our assumptions. But how do we do that? This week's podcast episode features Ozan Varol, who has just released a book called Think Like A Rocket Scientist. In it, he articulates several strategies for breaking through assumptive ruts and taking your work to a new level. Here are a few of my takeaways from the conversation: You Must Question Your Assumptions In the past, I've frustrated many managers and peers for my annoying tendency to ask lots of "why?" questions. I've never been able to simply accept the way things are, and that can be very inconvenient when you're trying to make quick progress on a project. However, this tendency has also served me well, because it's frequently allowed me to circ...

25 MINAPR 30
Comments
Think Like A Rocket Scientist (with Ozan Varol)

A Beautiful Anarchy (with David duChemin)

This week's podcast episode features David duChemin talking about his book and podcast A Beautiful Anarchy. When most of us tell the story of our career journey, it's often a very linear tale. "And then, I left that job and took this one. Then, I decided to step away for a bit and start something new. Then, I took a role with a marketing firm." However, the reality is much more complex. Most of our lives and our career journeys are much more circuitous in nature. My friend Mitch Joel calls it "the squiggly path", meaning that it veers left and right and doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason looking forward, but looking back it all begins to make sense. My career path was definitely "squiggly". As I discuss with David duChemin in this week's episode about his book and podcast A Beautiful Anarchy, twenty years ago I could never have imagined the career I'm in now. However, looking back, the clues were there all along. (There weren't many early-twenty-something musicians dragging pers...

28 MINAPR 28
Comments
A Beautiful Anarchy (with David duChemin)

Chopped, Creativity, and (Not) Thinking Big (with Dave Noll)

Dave Noll and his business partner are the creators of the hit TV series Chopped, as well as a number of other popular television programs. Every day they bounce ideas off of one another, combining themes and smashing old concepts together to form new possible programs. In our conversation, Dave and I engaged in a little “idea bouncing” as well. Here are a few of the practical tips that emerged in our chat: Keep A Queue Of Old Ideas When you engage in a project, you probably end up with a lot of discarded ideas that didn’t quite work out. What happens to those ideas? Many people simply discard them on the trash heap and start fresh with the next project. However, it’s wise to keep a queue of these old, but not quite right ideas. Keep them in a notebook, or on index cards, or someplace where you can browse them later. Often, an idea that’s not right now is the perfect idea for a later project, but you would never have remembered it unless you had a system to help you do so. At t...

38 MINAPR 21
Comments
Chopped, Creativity, and (Not) Thinking Big (with Dave Noll)
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