Feeling Is Believing


It was a glorious, early spring morning in the city.

The sun shone brightly.

The trees were newly green.

All around, vibrant splashes of color punctuated the scene.

Enter David

David was on his way to work.

Late as usual.

So he picked up his pace.

But even at his half-walk, half-trot gait he couldn’t help but feel the beauty of the day.

It was an amazing morning in the city.

At least it was until he ran headlong into a homeless man begging on the street.

Before he went down, the man was holding up a sign that read,

i am blind

David helped the man up and dusted himself off.

In the process, he couldn’t help but notice that the man’s cup was empty.

But would he give the beggar even a few cents?

No, not David

He didn’t think that way.

It was against his nature.

Instead, he reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a marker.

Then he grabbed the sign from the man, flipped it over and wrote all over the back of it.

it is spring

Much of the work that we call creative is simply serviceable (I am blind. Please help)

But occasionally we go beyond that.

We tap into a world of emotions.

And, as a result, we create a resonating, compelling experience. (It is Spring and I am blind)

That’s when we become remarkable

Sometimes all it takes is empathy. Empathy for tribe members we seek to lead.

Sometimes all it takes is a story. A story rooted in empathy. A story that goes beyond facts and figures and messages to touch our emotions.

But every time it requires us to believe. To believe in ourselves and in the power of emotion and of ideas.

David Ogilvy believed so hard that he became one of the icons of the creative revolution in advertising.

Don’t you dare settle

So if you want to change your future, your purpose and your organization, be like David Ogilvy.

Don’t settle for the serviceable when you could be remarkable.

Find your sense of empathy and believe.

In that regard, let me suggest ten things that you’ll need to believe before you can go beyond the serviceable to the remarkable:

  • True creative thinking can solve anything.
    In fact, the more formidable the problem, the more likely a totally new and original idea will solve it.


    • But only when that idea is based on a deep, emotional understanding of others.
      Because regular people, your tribe members, now control information, communications and the decision process. And that fact changes everything.


    • It’s not about messages anymore.
      It’s about deeply felt emotional experiences that resonate with your tribe’s deeply felt view of the world and their common purpose.


    • Content is not engagement.
      It never has been and it never will be. You have to do something creative or people will never get to your content.


    • Empathy drives emotion. And emotion drives movements and change.
      Love and respect and empathy and nurturing and caring for people are at the heart of great work.


    • There is a never-ending abundance of options.
      And so you can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.


    • Ideas are like babies.
      They begin life as fragile bits of energy that deserve to be born with dignity. More important, they deserve to be nurtured until they are strong enough to stand on their own in the world.


    • Few people have the talent, tenacity, bravery and willingness to sacrifice in order to innovate over and over and over again.
      So we should cherish, recognize, even celebrate them and their offspring.


    • We should recognize, elevate and focus on the best.
      And ignore the rest.


  • The changing future, as always, belongs to the brave.
    True creative work forces us to face our insecurities and fears and demonstrate our courage.

Creative thinking: simply serviceable or truly remarkable

So if you are truly committed to being unique and to changing the world here are four questions you need to ask yourself.

What kind of creative work are you recognizing in your organization?

Are you settling for the serviceable?

Or are you striving to be remarkable?

Can you tell the difference?

If you can’t, find some who can. And listen to them. But listen more with your experience-driven heart than your message-driven mind.

Because in today’s tribe-connected, world we all need to encourage, celebrate and emulate the “It is Spring and I am blind” efforts among us.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your take?



photo credit: Trace via photopin (license)