Excellence in Creativity: Of Poets and mad Conductors

Arianna HuffingtonFrom last week’s Wednesday to Friday I stayed at London’s beautiful St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel (where the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” video was shot) to attend a conference that my employer Bertelsmann held for about 200 top executives. The overarching motto for the conference was creativity – since, as a media company, our biggest asset is creative output in all of its forms. Among the many guest speakers were people such as Ed Catmull, CEO of Pixar, Simon Cowell, Arianna Huffington, E.L. James (author of “50 Shades”), will.i.am, and Beth Ditto.

DittoHere, I´d like to share three things (or rather: people) that impressed me the most – and whose topics also have a distinct connection to Positive Psychology.

First in line is Arianna Huffington who said a lot of smart things about mindfulness, meditation, getting enough sleep etc. – while gracefully marketing her book “Thrive”. Here´s the one sentence that really lingered in my mind:

Your eulogy will not be resumé.

Second, I was deeply impressed by poet David Whyte – who taught me about the power of words, allowing for repetition, long pauses – and speaking without PowerPoint. It is really hard to recount his talk without sounding corny – so instead you might want to watch his TED talk:

And finally, I tremendously enjoyed the talk of conductor Itay Talgam, who illustrated different leadership styles by showing video footage of some of the greatest conductors of the past and present. He also has a TED talk out there. So enjoy!

 

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