What do David Bowie, Mark Zuckerberg and … the manager of the England’s Soccer team have in common?
?? David Bowie began being interested in music at the age of 9, thanks to a box set of American records his father gave him. But one of the things that most influenced him as a musician was the world of drama, which he was exposed to after his first album was a total failure…
At that time, Bowie started taking lessons with a pantomime teacher named Lindsay Kemp, and was a member of his pantomime company for two years. Bowie will later recall that this period deeply affected him when he developed characters like Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom and other such characters, and in general was able to slip in and out of characters like a chameleon during his magnificent career.
- The manager of England’s soccer team Gareth Southgate spent some time in the United State before the FIFA World Cup. Southgate dedicated his time in the US to studying maneuvers used in American football and basketball; in these sports the games are usually more premeditated and less spontaneous, and the coach has a greater impact on what happens on the field.
Southgate implemented some of the principles he learned in the USA during the World Cup, especially with set pieces. He successfully surprised his opponents with tactics the soccer world has never really seen before (such as the “love train” Line-up, for those who watched and know it…). England excelled at scoring from set pieces during the World Cup and made it to the semi-finales, even though she did not come in to the world cup as a favorite.
⌨️ Even though Mark Zuckerberg, who learned to program when he was only 11 years old, had received a job offer from Microsoft as soon as he graduated high school, he chose to go to Harvard and study… psychology. The result of Mark’s computer programing skills and his desire to know what motivates the human spirit is, of course, Facebook…
So – what do Bowie, Southgate and Zuckerberg have in common?
One main thing: the ability to create synthesis
Bowie, Southgate and Zuckerberg have managed to infuse the field they work in with knowledge and skills from other fields, and thus they managed to enrich their area of expertise, develop it and in fact bring about a significant evolution in it.
So many of us were raised with the myth of becoming professionalized in only one craft – the violinist who plays for 12 hours till his fingers bleed, or the swimmer who gets up at five in the morning and clocks in many miles a day. These models are and always will be extremely important and will continue to drive people to new, miraculous achievements.
But it seems that being open to the world, wanting to get to know new disciplines, skills and ideas is what allows one’s perspective to be broadened, areas of expertise to be renewed and freshened, and to create new and magnificent hybrids.
It seems that especially nowadays, when knowledge is more accessible and available than ever, we have the opportunity to produce new, creative and surprising synthesis.
So the next time you take some time off from work to read a book, go to a play, see an exhibition or even just listen to music, there is chance you haven’t really taken a break, but that the ideas you were exposed to while doing other things will be implemented in your area of expertise.