The Art Part

Back in the mid-1990’s I discovered “Inside the Actors Studio” on the Bravo network. And I became addicted. Not addicted to watching Movie Stars reveal Juicy Tidbits about their lives (although they certainly did). I became addicted to watching people talk with passion about their craft. Whatever it was.

They talked about the scientific steps that they followed that allowed them to get their arms around a character, or get into a certain mood. But they also talked about the magic, the Art, that happens, the strokes of insight that can be acted upon when they have done The Work and exercised their mental and emotional muscles enough to be ready.

This fascinated me, and part of the reason was that I got it. I understood the relationship between Art and Science in my own work.

I was working at the time as a recruiter, a job that definitely required both Art and Science in order for the recruiter to be successful. We were taught that there were specific steps in the recruiting and placement process that, if followed, would make us successful. But I also learned that there was an Art part that also played a crucial role.

For example, if I followed the process for asking certain questions in an interview, I would find out the information I needed to be able to know if someone had the experience for a certain role. But by paying attention to how they answered, and by digging a little deeper, I could get a pretty good sense for whether they would do well in a certain environment or rise to the challenge of a particular opportunity. If I made enough calls I would find a company that needed a person, but how could I convince a hiring manager that she should at least interview this candidate even though he wasn’t a perfect fit because I knew how strong he was in these other areas? I could find a person that had the skills that matched a job requisition, but how could I convince her to meet with me if she was happy with her current job? That’s the Art Part.

I was reminded of this recently when I read an interview with Seth Godin about his new book, “Linchpin” (which I am reading). The interviewer brought up that in his book, Seth states that we are all Artists. “Wait a minute,” you’re thinking, “I’m not Creative.” I hear people say that a lot. And you know what? I don’t believe you.

Think about what you do, whether it’s your career, or something else – tennis, golf, gardening, chess, parenting. What’s the Science part? And what’s the Art Part?

Are you taking it for granted?

Is the Art Part missing?

Is that ok with you?

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