What Is Your Foundational “Why?”

“We help humanity by helping each other.” — Dakoro Edwards

Creativity isn’t reserved for those in the marketing and creative departments – it’s inside each of us. And for young creatives, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and use our creative gifts and talents not just for the benefit of the organizations for which we work, but for the benefit of everyone around us.

With that in mind, Leadercast hosted its first DISCOVER event on March 28 at Dakoro Art Gallery. The evening was geared toward encouraging and developing young creatives, and featured artist and gallery owner Dakoro Edwards, and acting coach and actor Zane Stephens.

Leadercast DISCOVER speaks to the Millennial generation as a provocative forum about living and leading beyond ourselves. Zane kicked off the forum with the question, "Why do you do what you do for a living?"

“It starts with understanding the ‘why’ behind whatever it is that you create,” Zane said. “It can’t only be about money or praise or necessity because that will never satisfy you.”

“The why,” suggests Zane, is “to give yourself away for the sake of your audience.” That audience could be your family, your team at work, the person in the cubicle next to yours, or in the case of creatives, “it could literally be the audience that comes to see you perform.”

How do you give yourself away for the sake of the audience? Zane broke it down into three characteristics:
1. Empathy – see that those around you have a need.
2. Humility – respond to the need(s) around you.
3. Vision – discover what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. That’s your uniqueness, says Zane, and it’s meant to be given away.

While Zane was speaking, Dakoro was painting on a canvas nearby – interpreting Zane’s talk through his art. Dakoro came forward to explain his painting, to offer his definition of servitude, and to share that no matter who or where you are, someone is depending on you to give yourself away. This is especially true of younger generations looking up to us to make the world a better place for them to inherit and for the generations behind them.

“Servitude: I’m responsible for you whether or not I know you, and vice versa.” – Dakoro Edwards

Dakoro and Zane asked the audience to put the evening’s lessons into practice and give ourselves away right then and there. We were invited to create an Interactive Art Mural by painting, drawing and writing on a big sheet of canvas hanging on the wall.

At first, nobody moved. Looking around the room, it felt as if everyone was dreaming about what they would create. Or, if they were like me, they were nervously thinking about whether or not their ideas were too personal to put on the canvas.

But then something beautiful unfolded; attendees began walking up to the canvas to draw, paint and write encouragement for the next generation. From suicide awareness to loving yourself to the power that education has to unlock a world of possibilities, the canvas filled quickly and the room ignited with meaningful conversations.

But putting yourself and your inspiration on a canvas inside an art gallery doesn’t mean much if it never goes beyond those walls. So Zane announced that Dakoro would be turning the canvas art into one cohesive piece showcasing each voice. The finished artwork will be donated to North Springs High School to encourage the next generation of young creatives. In that way, the encouragement of DISCOVER will live on.

I’m looking forward to attending more DISCOVER events, serving the Millennial generation and the one after us, and encouraging other Millennials to join me in using their creativity as a vessel for leadership.

Did you miss the Leadercast DISCOVER event? You’re invited to be inspired and “poured into” at one of our other upcoming Leadercast events, either live in Atlanta or hosted in a community near you.

Leadercast Labs, the most practical day in leadership, happens Thursday, May 4, 2017. Leadercast Live is on May 5, 2017, which will inspire people around the globe to discover and live with purpose. And in October, we will host our first-ever Leadercast Women.

Find more information on our upcoming events at the links below.

Leadercast Live – at a flex site near you

Leadercast Live – Atlanta

Leadercast Labs – Atlanta

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