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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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