Negotiating the Unknown Creatively




Business and investing are dynamic. Both change constantly.

We must stay ahead of changes to get the best results. But how do we negotiate the unknown creatively?

Why not learn from one of the greatest living musical improvisers of our time?

Wayne Shorter is a legend in the jazz world. He’s won multiple Grammy’s and played with countless great bands before forming his own, the Wayne Shorter Quintet. He’s dominated the jazz scene for decades.

In the video below, Shorter describes how to negotiate the unknown creatively. He speaks about the growing necessity for more people to become leaders [emphasis is ours]:

We’re all on a cliff, a precipice, a cliff where no one really knows what’s gonna happen tomorrow. People tell us, you know, what’s gonna happen. The newspapers. They try to maybe influence how we think so they can predict what we’re gonna do tomorrow to make money on their predictions.

But now, with the internet and all the social media stuff and countries and cultures converging, and ideas converging, interacting in ways that are unexpected. We are, I think we are as human beings, being forced to learn how to negotiate the unknown creatively.

We have a singularity approaching us in life. Humanity is now beginning to see what it’s like to negotiate without rehearsal. With no script.

That means that people who follow the masses of people who have been historically trained to be followers, have to begin to be leaders.

Shorter also points out the necessity of finding your own unique style:

As individuals, leaders, following kind of makes you a subject to wanting to be someone else. You follow someone else’s life. You follow someone else’s commands, rules. Follow the fashion. Follow someone else’s win. Follow someone else’s fame, fortune, and even in an ugly way follow someone else’s misery.

When I say become leaders instead of followers, it’s like being the producer, director, and actor of the film of your own life instead of someone else’s life. Or the Madison Avenue marketing machine’s life. The salesman’s life. The saleswoman’s life.

To Shorter it’s all about being in the moment and getting mentally ready for “train wrecks”:

When we go on stage to play… I say we meaning the group that I play with. We go, okay, we get ready for train wrecks. Put away the grammy’s and awards. That don’t mean nothing. Get out there naked. You know, there’s no such thing as a mistake. There is no such thing as a coincidence. What are you going to do with the unexpected? Call the Ghostbusters?

What are you gonna do? Yeah, what are you gonna do on a date? A guy and a girl, they go on a date and the guy, the boy, the man, is thinking what he’s gonna say. He’s thinking about what he’s gonna say while she’s talking. Instead of the challenge of being in the moment, in the moment.

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Living in the Present

I see convergence and divergence. Some societies value openness, free minds, and liberty. Others, not so much. Not sure we’re converging, social media notwithstanding.