Jump up for more creativity

I was on my way to Chicago the other morning. On my casual walk to my gate, blasting Lenny Kravitz in the ear buds, I saw something that made me smile:

…a kid running up and down the concourse jumping up and down, trying to touch various signage.

He was laughing and having a ball.

I used to do that too, and being a taller kid, I often achieved my touches. ‘Twas victory.

But at some point, I stopped doing it. We all do. At some point I suppose it becomes weird for adults to run down airport concourses.


Even me this morning, as Lenny was cranking his cover of American Woman, I so wanted to stop, slip on the air guitar, and jam and sing.

I didn’t.

Again, shame.

At what point does society and culture beat this out of us?

Is is school? Is it our parents? Is it other maturing kids that make fun of you? Our own sense of growing shame?

I wish we could stop this, and turn it around.

I wish we didn’t judge people for having fun and being goofy. I wish we didn’t look at people strange for singing out loud to their iPod.

There’s obviously a time and place for professional and respectful behavior. But, as a collective people, I wish we could let loose more. Feel less shame. Not give a damn what other people think.

This is important. Why?

Well, I think it would make people happier and less stressed, for one thing.

But in a business setting, I think it would make people more human, which would make them better salesman.

And I think it would unleash dramatic new surges of creativity and innovation. And Lord knows, every organization needs more of that.

We are creative, shameless, and wickedly curious as kids. I’m not the first to talk about the idea that we lose those as we get older.

So let’s do one thing today: Make one shift in your mindset:

Stop judging adults who jump up and thwack airport concourse signage (or do other whacky, fun things). They aren’t doing anything that impacts you personally.

If we all do that, the world will be a happier and more creative place.

P.S. And if you see me touch the sign, run up and high five me!


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Drawing by Hugh.

  • Dominique

    I could not agree more. i was talking yesterday about someone with a big personality that some find a bit garish but I would much rather have a person full of life and energy and courage to be the biggest self they are than the play if safe types (who would never go bold). The safer types dont get how much they bore us to tears. There is a certain energy footprint you bring with you into every room and I like energy coming in instead of just blah, safe. We were designed to laugh, have opinions, share our real selves. We have a certain responsibility to not just be present but to add positive energy to the universe and that means lightness and wit are to be dosed out heartily.

  • Michael D. Haberman, SPHR

    Todd, you have not been around me enough!

  • Todd Schnick

    LOL. no surprises here… ;-)

  • Todd Schnick

    yeah, and you know, it doesn’t take much to add positive energy… thanks for contributing!

  • Graham Rogers

    Yep going to find some signs. Thanks Todd great post.

  • Todd Schnick

    Ha! Yes! See you in the concourse!