Look To Craftsmen is an unconventional business book that explores the work of ceramicists, stone masons and wood turners alongside that of presidents, entrepreneurs, and consultants.
Because craftsmen know something that top analytic minds still need to learn: how to solve the problems when no predetermined plan, no template, and no quick fix will save the day. They cultivate, inhabit, and maintain a state of mind capable of holding paradoxical tensions:
Subjective reasoning: the ability to arrive at a conclusion based on intuition and/or experience. Craftsman are analytical, and they also reason.
Flexible purposefulness: The ability to have an over-arching view and remain flexible enough to allow for adaptations as the experience unfolds.
Cognitive emotions: The ability to be involved emotionally to one’s work, and also very thoughtful and perceptive.
More relevant to leaders across all sectors–craftsmen successfully mitigate the tension between developing a Feel for their work and the feelings of happiness, anger, sadness, joy, or boredom that come up as we contend with the anxiety of learning on the job. We all know feelings can distract us from our work, but few do more than attempt to compartmentalize.
Large-scale crises are compounding. Recessions are more drastic, natural resources are eroding, education is stuck, and healthcare remains stalled. These systems have a dependence on objective thinking where even the most sophisticated tools miss solutions to the kind of hard-to-grasp problems that craftsmen solve every time they go to work.
Each chapter of the book (pending publication in 2019) features a master craftsman that illustrates important lessons about how we learn. These lessons contribute to an overall Navigation System. Our Navigation System directs our learning. Learn how craftsmanship, when allowed to escape studio walls, can help you to achieve powerful capabilities in professions, in organizations, in education—and live everyday life with craft.
Roughly 70 % of U.S. workers are un-engaged at a time when we need everyone on deck to solve the world's most pressing problems. I believe that there is a craftsman in each of us, and that the work we do and how we do it makes a difference.
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