Posts can be very personal. This one is.
I have a friend, Rasha, who is from Egypt and who has family there. My thoughts are with her and the wonderful people I met through the eyes, words, and pictures of another friend, Julie Gomoll.
Sometimes we say, “I can’t imagine” what it’s like. But I think business owners and other creatives can imagine in huge detail.
And, that’s what makes being able to visualize a mixed blessing. I saw this during 911 and hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I see it again here. And, media aside, it’s not due just to what we see and hear on TV, radio, and the Internet.
Friday, I went to my favorite bakery, Upper Crust on 45th & Burnet in Austin. I love the food and I enjoy talking to the managers and staff. Over the years I have found that many of them have other creative outlets — usually music or art.
The goodies were as good usual things but staff just seemed a little off kilter. I asked a staff person who is an artist and musician about what I observed because I was concerned. He didn’t talk about Egypt or other problems in the world but he was sensing or visualizing something that took him off his usual game. I had never seen him this way. He asked me my advice. I was stumped. That’s partially what prompted this post.
I bring this up because if you are an owner you have to visualize how to build your business so that it is sustainable and profitable. That means you can visualize and have nightmares about what can happen to it. So, you can imagine what’s happening to those business owners who are living through this uproar. You can imagine their concern for the welfare of their families and their employees and their families.
That’s not to say that people should not speak up and try to get rid of dictatorial regimes. It’s a recognition that there is more than just simple empathy at work here. It can be almost a physical reaction because you can realistically imagine what’s happening.
I am also not saying that non-creatives don’t empathize or feel in these big events. They do. I have just observed that the more you can visualize, the more you get caught up in this. I may be wrong.
If you have creatives on your staff, they may be visualizing things, too. They may not verbalize it but they can be off balance, feel overwhelmed.
My advice, talk about it. You and they need an outlet. Don’t just dismiss it. Be prepared. If I am right, it will happen again the next time the world seems to be going up in flames.
Are you seeing this in your business? What are you doing to deal with this mixed blessing in yourself and your staff?
In the meantime, my heart and mind are with all the people of the Middle East.
Ron Ratliff says
Thank you for this post. Concern about our families, employees, and their futures is something that does not respect the artificial boundaries set between states and nations.
It’s also true that innovative ideas frequently come from those creative (square peg in a round hole) members of our team…and it’s the wise business owner who learns to loosen the reins a bit and listen to their ideas.
Having traveled in Egypt, we share your concern for those caught in the middle of the conflict. Several months ago I wrote a post about “The Man from Luxor” – a carriage driver who took our family on a 4-hour tour of Luxor that included a visit to his home to meet his wife and children. During that carriage ride, I learned that we were far more alike than different…
Jan Triplett says
Thank you for the comment. Owners and creatives are visualizers and that means that any positive or negative issue will be more vivid to them.
As a visualizer myself, I have a dream that this will just make Egypt an even better place to visit and do business. I hope I’m right.