Showing all posts tagged #strengths:


A Challenge to Myself

Posted on July 23rd, 2014

We artists are responsible for being the spark of hope that will change futures.

Eliminate everything that makes you less than the best reflection of your humanity. It is your responsibility is to be a good steward of every opportunity.

Own your contribution. Do not allow cynicism to “protect" you from having to try. Cynicism and hope cannot coexist. Embrace the new present and pursue the future without fear.

If you complain about something (especially more than once) you’re allowing it to continue. Instead, look for how you can solve the “problem" and lead into a new future… Future based language changes present results.

Do not be lulled into accepting the good. Instead, search out the hidden potential for greatness. Greatness is revealed by the discipline of whittling away at the idea and not settling for the first draft.

Tell a story. Be an artisan. Craft the magical.

Give good notes; be a good coach. Do not "play small." Give the gift of honest and constructive criticism - it is a real gift if your team trusts that you are for them.

Strive to do what only you can do. Gather and invest in great teammates. They too are creative and uniquely gifted. Be intentional and mine it out of them.

Being full of hope, bring your full self to any and every situation. Know your unique talents and steward them well.

Use your creative mind as a gift to the team. When at your best, you'll ask helpful, focusing questions that will guide us toward a better future.

Always take a chance on better, even if it seems threatening. Break paradigms - dare to bend the implications of what people think they know.

Ideate where we might go as we consider "hopeful, unknown, future possibilities."

Tomorrow is not rooted in the past unless you are lazy in your vision. May we call each other to the higher standard. Let us reach for the stars.

May we be known by love. May ours be a collective voice of hope. May we realize our potential to create a beautiful future.

Do not hesitate to step up where others shrink in fear. Charge as a warrior in the service of joy. Never cease speaking up and offering your very best work. Be relentless in generously sharing the gift you uniquely can be - to your ecclesial community and the world beyond.

You are designed to imagine and create the future.

You are not your idea. Be openhanded with everything. You are not what you do. Do not forget that the Work of God is to believe in the one who was sent.

As a creative who seeks to live life to the fullest, you must always pay attention to the world. See the big picture. Never cease to to be awestruck at the beauty of nature. Practice gratefulness; recognize gifts even and especially in the midst of chaos. Share in the celtic tradition as you journey.

Be not prideful; be courageous. Live unhindered. Your life is art.

Continue dying to yourself and live every new day in a posture of surrender.

Keep your integrity bounded and your imagination boundless. May your dreams be big - rooted in not in your past but in the One who was and is and most importantly who is to come.

Love with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.



*The above is curated from my various journal entries, notebooks, and underlined passages from books I've been reading. Along with a few "original" thoughts of my own, much of the above is derived with paraphrasing (and a few direct quotes) from some people who have been inspiring me over the past few months. Thanks in particular to Oswald Chambers, Seth Godin, Erwin McManus, Ann Voscamp, Ed Catmull, Aaron Sorkin, Marcus Buckingham, Michael Dauphinee, Jason Jaggard, Jessica Wolfe, and Jesus of Nazareth.


Vision

Posted on June 11th, 2014

If we don't constantly call our teams to the higher vision, we will slowly deteriorate into mediocrity.

Live Production and Landscape Photography Similarities to Study and Apply

Posted on March 10th, 2014

Last night, I watched a video presentation* about landscape photography. There were many great thoughts that I certainly consider beneficial for me to consider as a photographer. Some is a little boring with how basic it is - but always good to remind myself of the fundamentals. Some I knew (and can actually say that I've been attempting to apply) intuitively and is encouraging to me that I've been on the right track. Other ideas totally make sense as I think about them; and leave me itching to test them out...

One of the greatest takeaways is something that I can't help but doing in any field of my artistry: Never settle for a good shot; a great shot is there if you look for it. I know I often can drive my friends and colleagues nuts with my constant unrest as I search for the greatest degree of beauty. It's inherent to my personality and strength mix I think - an "unconscious competency" is a term that may be applied. Well, the presenter spent some time in the middle of the presentation discussing shot composition and I couldn't help but hear brilliant articulation of what I strive for in every artistic discipline I am involved in. Never settle for a good [mix or lighting look, or typeface, or whatever] but keep experimenting through rehearsal and find the great.

I'm often asked (actually more and more, I am blessed to be hired as a consultant for) my thoughts for how I approach production design. If you have been around me for a while, you have probably heard me talk about the "2° and the 2%". I am most concerned with the beginning of an idea - where there's the opportunity to point the concept in the exact direction where I see it having the greatest opportunity of becoming something amazing. This is the vision and the design stage. If you start the project in the right direction, you'll succeed more often than not. 2° of difference in compass bearing may not seem like much in the short term, but it can be miles away from the ideal finish line when it's time to open doors...

I also am charged up by the opportunity to finesse the final tweaks that give the magical touch. This is the 2%. It's the difference between good enough and inspiring; the difference between bland and profound. I'm often cited as having the eye for it. Perhaps I do have a special aptitude for the artistry of seeing what works and where an improvement could be made. However, I believe most of it is my work ethic. I hate settling for less than excellent. Excellence is making the most of our resources. If we have more time to give, we should use it to make the product better.

The analogys of "taking in the scene" and "seeing the light" are so great. We all have the potential to create something amazing. What resources do we have? How can they be focused on to help tell the story that is there? See the potential and figure out the best strategy for highlighting it. Then, never settle for a good [mix or lighting look, or typeface, or whatever] but keep experimenting through rehearsal and find the great.

I was actually running sound last night and one of my students asked me during run-through, "it sounds amazing, why are you continuing to make adjustments?" Two reasons: First, it's live audio; therefore the variables are always changing. The mix engineer has to constantly stay focused on how to best reinforce what's coming from stage. Second, if I'm going to be in the chair during a rehearsal regardless, why settle for a B+ when I could find the tweak that takes it to an A- or perhaps even an A? To me, the idea of settling for mediocrity is detestable. If you're going to be involved, be all there... Anyway, the difference between some of the really good photos and their amazing counterparts are the patience and persistence exhibited by the photographer who is disciplined enough to pursue capturing the epic image that we want to hang on our walls.


*The entire video was really good:
http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/how-to-take-dynamic-landscape-photographs/
40-45min is the location that inspired this post.

Value Add

Posted on August 2nd, 2013

Scanning an old journal, I came across this bit of encouragement to be who I’m uniquely created to be. My value-add is that, "I bring an unseen potential of ideation to the creative process and I have a unique ability to maximize the product by manipulating resources in a strategic manner."

My encouragement to you who might be reading this: Sped time reflecting on what you enjoy doing. Consider what things you do well either naturally and/or because you have such practice that it has become second nature; and ideally both. I also suggest taking the StrengthsFinder2.0 indicator. I originally penned this journal entry shortly after learning my strength themes - Ideation, Maximizer, Strategic are my top 3. If you can apply your potential in situations where it can be a gift to others, you will be value-add.

Here's to continued growth as a steward of my strengths and opportunities.

Eric Wolfe

Visual Artist. Production Designer and Consultant. Developer of Ideas. Maximizer of Resources. Strategic Thinker. Creative Innovator. Husband. Father. Philosopher. Photographer. Backpacker. Athlete. Cook. Artisan. Catch Eric’s sporadic musings at egwolfe.com or follow him on social media platforms as @egwolfe