“I am in no sense of the word a great artist, not even a great animator; I have always had men working for me whose skills were greater than my own. I am an idea man.” —Walt Disney
I came across this quote today, and it both resonates with and scares me.
You see, for a long time I considered myself a facilitator. It was other people who did “the work”, while I managed or marketed or in some way supported them. And I’m good at it, and people keep paying me to do it, and that’s great.
So why do I feel like its a crutch? I feel like calling myself an idea man would be a cop out. It would be me saying that I don’t want to do the hard, tedious, and fulfilling work, that I would rather take the 50,000 mile view and paint the broad strokes…even if it means nothing ever gets done.
Walt Disney had the luxury – by dint of great effort and vision – of having people under him. In my own creative endeavors, I do not. I must be the idea man, and I am good at that. But I must also be all those other smart people as well.
Maybe someday I’ll go back to being solely an idea man, but I don’t know if I want to; in all my time facilitating the work of others, no moment was ever quite as sweet as when I finished a work of my own. If I could have more moments like when I finished the first draft of my book, and moments like I suspect I will have when I finish the second draft, and then final one…wow. That would be a sweet life. That’s worth doing the hard, tedious, and fulfilling work to make happen.