On vacation this summer ( see ‘my break from business books’ ) I wanted to read something different, but that still taught me something of value in my career – note I didn’t say work – something that would help me evolve into who I want to be.
So many of my mentors, my personal board, encourage me to read biographies. But with the exception of two great biographies, Nelson Mandela and Frank Sinatra – no business leader bio’s ever felt like “must reads”.
Until the recent death of Steve Jobs. Here was a guy who had changed the world, certainly my world. Someone fascinating who I didn’t really know that much about except that he loved “walking meetings”.
And I’ve been obsessed ( mostly thanks to Seth Godin ) about what does a business professional look and feel like, expressed as an “artist”?
The book does not disappoint. It’s almost 600 pages but it moves quickly through every aspect of his life, challenges, strengths, gifts and weaknesses. I learned so much about things I care about – business, life, loss and what it takes to make great things, and make things great.
It was at the same time that I visited a place I usually go to think. The Art Gallery of Ontario. There’s a room, that I have walked by a number of times that struck me on this visit. A fascinating immersive room dedicated to world renowned artist David Milne. In it I got to delve into the mind, the life of an artist in hundreds of different ways. It was a powerful perspective-shifting experience that helped me understand how I could adapt this thinking to the life I’m trying to build. My deepest thanks to those who donated to and created this amazing space.
My last read on this vacation from traditional business books was a treat, something I’ve been dying to read for a while now. Andrew Zuckerman’s “Wisdom” advice from artists, musicians, scientists, thinkers from around the world. I sat in this place, and just devoured the thing I seek most in this world –—the life-learned wisdom of people who have made the world a better place.
A vacation from books, with books.
In the mean time, visit the AGO and I leave you with…some Wisdom.