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Creativity, Michael Ray and Motto

Motto Magazine brings a great interview between Anita Sharpe and Michael Ray, on How To Reach Your Highest Goal. Very fun weekend reading material, including plenty of quotes and reflections on how creativity can be trained/ enhanced by one of my favorite Stanford MBA professors. Some quotes:

  • “But as the 1980s began, Ray and Myers kicked off more than two decades teaching one of the most influential and talked about courses at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business — a class on creativity and innovation. They taught MBA students who would go on to become some of the greatest creators in the world of business, including eBay’s first president, Jeffrey Skoll, and Good to Great author Jim Collins.”
  • “When (Apple co-founder) Steve Jobs came to our class, everybody was saying we have to get into the computer business. He said, you don’t necessarily have to do that. He said, go into San Francisco and get a job as a waiter and find out what comes out of that.”
  • MOTTO: You have had a number of renowned and successful students. How would you summarize the characteristics that they share that contribute to their inner and outer success?
  • RAY: A sense of openness of consciousness. Those people who are very much in the moment, very clear, are the ones who can succeed. I think of the four tools we use in our course, which are: faith in your own creativity; absence of the VOJ-type judgment; precise observation or seeing clearly; and penetrating questions. One of the live-withs we have for precise observation is, pay attention. That is being conscious.
  • MOTTO: What is your response to people who say, I don’t have a creative bone in my body? RAY: Virtually all people who say, “I’m not creative,” are getting into a very bad habit of comparison. They are not seeing that their own creativity is worth something. We do this exercise in the very first class in the creativity course where we ask the students to think of when they had a great idea. It may have been to ask their husband or wife to marry them. They begin to understand where their own creativity lies. The point is, creativity is a way of life. It’s not a media event. RAY: Virtually all people who say, “I’m not creative,” are getting into a very bad habit of comparison. They are not seeing that their own creativity is worth something. We do this exercise in the very first class in the creativity course where we ask the students to think of when they had a great idea. It may have been to ask their husband or wife to marry them. They begin to understand where their own creativity lies. The point is, creativity is a way of life. It’s not a media event.

Check the full interview at How To Reach Your Highest Goal.

Fast Company published a great interview with him some years back, titled The Most Creative Man in Silicon Valley.

For related reading: Can a brain fitness program help me become more creative?

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