Bring Your Artist to Work

As I’ve shared before, my wife Sheila is an amazing dancer, writer, singer, and improvisational performer. She is a “creative.” One of the most wonderful things about living with an artist is that we always live with beauty around us. The downside of living with an artist is that we always live with beauty around us.

Of course, for me, who did not grow up in an artistic home, this has all been a fantastic journey to understanding a part of myself that I didn’t know existed. Becoming a dancer myself, writing books and stories, speaking and singing, becoming a part of an artistic community (our improv group, Interplay) has enriched my life immeasurably. One of the art forms that I enjoy enormously but do not consider myself skilled at performing is poetry.

My colleague and friend, Libby Wagner, refers to herself as the Boardroom Poet. As April is National Poetry Month, I rewatched an excellent video Libby did about why organizations need a poet for their company. She cites four elements of business success where poets make a difference. These include courage, humanity, specificity, and language.

One of the significant challenges of our current work is the sense that people want to separate their work life from home life. There appears to be a “glass wall” coming up, and following our “Work from Home” experiences. Many people think that they can separate these two elements of our lives but I think we just want to have one full life, filled with success at work, love at home and appreciation for all the beauty in our lives.

We all have our artful capabilities and capacities, and we are usually blinded by the artistry of professionals and the messages from others to “not give up your day job.” One of my neighbors is giving a toast at her brother’s wedding this weekend, and I encouraged her to sing a little portion that quotes a Cat Steven’s song. The other morning, I heard her practicing the song when I walked by her porch. She may not do it but then again, it may happen.

I hope it does.

Artistry lives within each of us and is there for us to claim. It is a mechanism to strengthen our resilience, bring joy in the momen.t and build hardiness for rainy days.

Ah, with a splash of wonder, what would our company roundtables and town halls be. So much more interesting and invigorating, yes?”

Libby Wagner

© Richard Citrin 2023

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