Volume XXII, Number 4 (Issue 1060) January 22, 2024
The Creative and Interpretive Arts
A few weeks ago, I was watching an interview of an actor turned director. I cannot remember the individual’s name nor that of the interviewer. However, one point the artist made stayed with me. Specifically, having spent time in both professions, he observed that actors practice an interpretive art. That is, they take the words of the screenwriter and the instructions of the director and turn them into a credible character for the audience. In contrast, he observed that the novelist, the playwright, the director, and all who engage in similar activities are creative artists. Such individuals are gifted with the ability to visualize and articulate something that does not yet exist.
Both the actor with their interpretive skills and the author/director with their creative skills are essential to bringing something to life. They are in fact interdependent since the author without the actor may at best reach a limited audience in many situations whereas the actor without the author lacks a destination.
I think the same dynamic holds true for successful businesses and comparable endeavors. Consider the entrepreneur with their quest to meet a need that others have not yet identified. As invaluable as that creative genius may be, those endowed with that ability frequently struggle to operate an established business since they become easily bored without an outlet for their gifts. In contrast, those who are blessed with the drive to get things done, follow through, and deal with the never-ending stream of small batch problems that come their way are no less important because they are willing and prepared to deal with the daily grind and breathing life into someone’s dream.
In short, both the strategic thinker-dreamer and the tactical thinker-doer are key players in bringing an organization into being and driving it toward success. If you need an example of a dreamer, look no further than the
gifted but quirky Elon Musk. Regardless of your opinion of the man, it is hard to dispute his creative genius. However, when he has meddled in the operations of his creations, he seems to create a gigantic mess more often than not. In terms of an interpretive compliment to a visionary leader one need look no further than Sheryl Sandberg and the way in which she has complimented Mark Zuckerberg. That is not to suggest Ms. Sandberg is not a visionary. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of her ability to transform Zuckerberg’s grand vision into a phenomenally successful social media behemoth.
In terms of Eastern thought, it is the melding of the Yin and Yang that produces one immensely powerful force while in Western thought it is the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Either way, the point is it is good that we do not all possess the same gifts. But allow us to pair our unique gifts with a complimentary set and the incredible potential of both can best be realized.
So, have you found that someone out there who is the yin to your yang and visa-versa? If so and provided the output of that fusion is being used for good, lucky you, lucky us, lucky world!
Soli Deo Gloria
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
J. Keith Hughey
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2024 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Recent issues of Musings may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are always welcome.