Memories

There was nothing else left to do. Marhsa had spent the weekend catching up on her reading, work emails, and calls. Those were easy. She had dawdled to avoid the dreaded task: cleaning up the attic.

It’d accumulated more dust and memories than she wanted to rekindle. As if looking into a different life, she rummaged around with growing queasiness. If only she could forget.

Coloured pencils and glitter paper greeted her. In faded yellow, pink, red, and green, as a long-gone rainbow, were her daughter’s handcrafts. Where the pot of gold should’ve been was the pall of the six-year-old.

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On creativity

Creativity isn’t a solo job. Think about it—writers, painters, sculptors, chefs, card makers, weavers, and craft makers all fall into the small business category. They’re all creatives at heart, and by job, trying to earn through their craft. Regardless of how alone they are in making their craft, when it comes to doing anything with what they make—refining it, marketing it, distributing it, and selling it, they need partnerships. They need others who can think in the same creative manner so they can do their part in the process.

And so, while a writer creates the first draft of their next greatest creative piece, an editor or a proof reader guides them through to the next draft. And during that process, they brainstorm, discuss variations, consider alternative titles, and work together to create the perfect piece of copy. Writing a book is no solo job.

Once the piece takes shape comes marketing and distribution. Think of a painting for example—the artist is proud of it, their teacher and mentor is satisfied, and they even got a few ideas and compliments from their contemporaries. The next step would be to promote it so more people can appreciate it. That’s no solo job either.

As for the marketing, distribution, and sales teams, they can’t work in traditional methods. If they’re to market, distribute, and sell a creative piece of work, they need to conceptualise newer, innovative ways to do their job. That takes a lot of creativity. A bottle of Coca Cola is just an unhealthy beverage. But by relating it to happiness, to sharing, to being wanted and accepted, the company’s writers, designers, marketers, and distributors all contributed their share of creativity. And they did it together.

Without the designer and copywriter collaborating with each other, a print ad wouldn’t have perfect alignment.

Without the copywriter and editorial teams collaborating, the ad copy wouldn’t ring as great as it could.

Without the sales and marketing teams collaborating, Coca Cola wouldn’t exist today as we know it.

Creativity isn’t a solo job. A multi-national conglomerate or an indie seller, to create anything worthwhile, everyone needs another’s streak of creativity.

Books be like

An exciting start,

dragging, then tumbling to close

a story’s story

The other side

If only her life was as great as Kate’s.

They’d been high school friends, and while Kate’s established father had landed her a job in a conglomerate, Pam’s carpenter father could do no such thing.

“Congratulations!” Pam cried as they met fifteen years later. She was a school teacher and Kate—well, she had a career colleagues, neighbours, and even friends were jealous of. A seven-figure salary, a comfortable house, another new car—it was everything Pam had dreamt of.

Kate said nothing. Under her father’s constant shadow, she couldn’t even treat her friend for dinner without her father’s approval.

Power to the right people

With great power comes great responsibility.

Whoever says Spiderman is for kids doesn’t know the reality of the world. As far as I can tell, that quote from the Marvel world of fantasy is one of the truest statements about our society.

When someone has power over others, it’s their responsibility to exercise that power in a way that benefits all parties. But the biggest hurdle in leadership is that there’re two kinds of people in power.

One, the vain kind that craves the spotlight, the extra commissions, and bargains that come with being a leader.

They have no respect for their team, they abuse their authority for personal gains, and they revel in self-absorbed obsession. Such leaders are worms in the organisation—they nibble their way through cracks, widen communication gaps, isolate people, and think themselves an impeccable leader.

The second is kinder. Society thrusts power onto them, and they have no choice but to accept. Apart from feeling it’s unwarranted, they also get scared. It’s only natural. However, that’s what makes them good leaders. Regardless of the few who fail unable to handle the demands of the role, great leaders rise to the occasion to do what they must.

Situational leaders who struggle at first to delegate, inspire, and guide others, will not long afterwards learn by doing, evolve through mistakes, and shine through the darkness.

It won’t happen overnight, though. As with any good thing, leaders need time to achieve their potential. No one can step out of college and walk into a managerial role in an organisation. Those who do that, those who think a fancy degree is all it takes to be a successful leader, in turn become snobbish, detestable, namesake leaders who no one looks up to.

A leader who climbs their way through the organisation—from being a team player, to becoming a mentor, and then becoming a leader—will understand the nuances of a leadership role and the importance of humility. That makes them all-serving decision makers who prioritise the greater good before anything else.

And that’s a powerful leader.