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Leadership Lessons: Pixar’s Ed Catmull on the Office Environment

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This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending Ecofest at the local Komoka Community Centre. This event brought together passionate, community-minded folks who volunteered their time to teach us about green initiatives, wildlife rescue, and volunteer opportunities. I was struck by how much an individual can do to protect and enhance our green spaces and community.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True InspirationThis event also got me thinking about other environments that we share and how we can make them more sustainable and enriching. One such place not to be overlooked is our work environment. Just as CO, acid rain and global warming dramatically impact our health, so too do acidic personalities, a lack of trust, or a shortage of creativity. Continuing with our goal of featuring great reads in Connect, I would like to suggest that you visit your local library and pick up Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace.

Presented by Ed Catmull, who co-founded Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, this book explores not only his time building the business, but how he worked with his colleagues to build a culture in which risk-taking and experimentation are the norm and teamwork is expected.

I found myself energized by the tales of how the team was built and stuck together while facing what at times seemed insurmountable odds. Instead of glossing over troubles as trivialities, the book dives deep into how, as a leader, you can help a team weather the storm. What I also found interesting is how Catmull admits to his faults and mistakes. He owns them! Looking back on his career, he discusses what he would have done differently and what he could have done better. While seeing a leader admit his faults made me feel better about my growing list of goofs, it also powered me up to take on the challenges that I face each day.

Just like planting a few trees and picking up the trash requires you to get your hands dirty in the name of helping the environment, cleaning up your office environment requires you to roll up your sleeves. To uncover the potential change a little environmental work could bring about in your organization, you have to check out this book.

Need another reason to look into Pixar? Check out this commencement speech by John Lasseter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mo4P_BVlzg

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