ORGL 605

Imagine, Create, Lead

Artifact: A visual representation of seeing, and seeing again.


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” This is a wonderful quote often attributed to — but more likely paraphrased from — Albert Einstein. As with all great phrases, it can mean the most right thing to different people. It was the basis for creating the artifact for Imagine, Create, Lead.

In the image above, next to my computer is a framed, close-up photo of my Paul Reed Smith (PRS) guitar. The instrument is important to me for a number of reasons. Not only is it a demonstration of my creativity, but it also came into my life when I was unprepared — it provided a tremendous opportunity for growth and personal achievement.

Leadership is often about realizing changes and how we, often, must keep our eyes open to envision new possibilities. In ORGL 605, we explored this notion defined as pentimento, or the visible trace of older paintings underneath newer layers. It was described for us as “seeing, and seeing again.”

When I was younger, I had the opportunity to meet the maker of PRS guitars. He told me that the color of the instrument was incredibly important to him. It is the color red, painted over orange, painted over white, all finalized with a gloss coat — a version of functional pentimento. In creating this color, PRS achieved what Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

This is a great reminder that there can be great reward in persistence, and taking the time to see different situations in different ways. The framed photo acts as a literal reminder of this realization, and has helped me through some tremendously difficult situations and decisions over the past two years.