Nick Cave doesn’t write about leadership.
For those who don’t know him (and you should rectify that if you don’t), Nick Cave isn’t a leadership guru. He’s a hard rocking, life-weary musician known for intensity and fearlessness.
And he just gave a fan songwriting advice that 100% applies to leadership:
A fan named David from Baltimore went onto Nick’s fan-led forum to make a cheeky request: “I’m a songwriter. I’m seriously blocked. Do you have any spare lyrics I can have?”
After giving David some shit lines to a “made-up” song called “I’m the Incinerator Man,” Cave responded, “Throw my song away. And change your basic relationship to songwriting. You are not the ‘Great Creator’ of your songs, you are simply their servant, and the songs will come to you when you have adequately prepared yourself to receive them. They are not inside you, unable to get out; rather, they are outside of you, unable to get in. Songs, in my experience, are attracted to an open, playful and motivated mind.”
As a leader, it’s easy to feel like we are the “great creator” of initiatives, of teams, of goals. But your leadership is less about what’s already inside you — and more about how you are approaching your life so you can allow great ideas and inspiration to find a welcoming home within you.
How are you keeping your mind open and playful?
What self awareness practices do you engage in?
How do you stay open to ideas and inspiration?