3 More Leadership Ideas for Artists


Leading oneself in a dynamic way

Continuing on a journey into Joe D Batten we now look at three more points in further detail. As a result, we have some powerful ideas to build a robust mindset.

I am an artist and trying to take my art practice to the next level, therefore I need to strengthen my mindset.

Let’s look at some more quotes from Joe D Batten. I looked at vulnerability, warmth and consistency in the previous article. If you are tired of reading articles and want to see a human being I have a Youtube channel too,

It is our mind that decides where we are heading. When we get more involved in creating content, for example, it is easy to lose focus and then stop. How do I know? This is precisely what has already happened for me.

So, let’s look at some more leadership tools. 

The references are from Tough-Minded Leadership written in 1963


“Leaders have a fused and focused oneness of purpose,effort, and direction. “


Unity is an interesting point to debate if we are launching on our own project or endeavour. My first point of call is to think of a team or a group of people and then creating unity with them. Consequently, we could create rules or game plans for the team to follow. 

However without a team what do we do?

The temptation is to do the same. Maybe there is another approach. As I have mentioned before all the different aspects of our personality are of use to us, when we choose to let them be. 

Therefore the best action I can take is to develop a clear understanding of where I want to be now and have ideas about where I want to be. Then become focused by looking at the purpose of this journey and the direction it is taking.

Of course, there is an element of struggle in achieving these things. but it is a worthwhile struggle. Inevitably I have to look at the actions I am taking and be realistic about the efficacy of the task endeavoured, questioning whether it supports the long term goals or targets.

In effect what we are doing is correcting habitual negative actions. For example, I am attempting to set myself daily tasks and tick them off. It is so easy for me to miss a day or two and become distracted and deluded.


“Leaders want others to grow and benefit. “


Throughout the book, Batten is constantly referring to caring.  I was so surprised with the title, “Tough-Minded Leadership”, having so much reference to caring and concern for others. 

We start with caring for ourselves, for without this foundation it is very difficult to truly care for others growth. Where do we start? There is certainly a need to strive to keep my head clear.

In other words, stay with difficult moments and try to understand their true nature rather than hiding away from them. On reflection, this is definitely one of the habits that I developed as a young man.

 I have been able to change my health habits dramatically since deciding to follow my heart instead of treading the path of those around me. I am sure that most of us have some issue that we have put in the cupboard or have our way of avoiding. How about you? 

“They believe love is the toughest-minded emotion in the world”


So, love is a tough-minded emotion. Interesting point again as we can tend to think of love as fleeting and elusive. This brings to mind the need to understand how we interpret love. In the realm of caring for the growth and benefit for others, I feel again this is striving to respect my own life first. It is so easy not to, isn’t it?

All of these points are enlightening to ponder as a human and an artist. It doesn’t mean compromise by any means. 

As a result, becoming more aware of this love for myself and others is important if I want to create a flow of productive art work.

Positive Listening

“Leaders are postitive listeners. They keep an open and flexible mind.”


I hope we are beginning to see a pattern emerging in the themes covered in these articles and what a useful resource this book is for anyone. It is hard to really listen to what people are saying sometimes? I can be talking with someone and then they can make an interesting point. My conscious mind seems to pick up on this and ponder it at which point I stop listening to the rest of the conversation.

Listening to someone I meet on the street sharing their concerns about wider issues can also bring up the desire to move on. Batten is really talking about relationships and listening in the workplace. 

As a result to use positive listening with myself is the starting point. Listening to my own concerns and recognising that somehow there is a use for that internal conversation.

“Since they encourage creativity within their organizatio, they listen positively to ideas that are presented, trying to discover ways that will work. Above all, they hear.”


The conversation about a project that goes on in our head can be really useful if we are able to encourage ourselves. We can be really hard on ourselves.

Also, being flexible and picking up or dropping ideas takes wisdom doesn’t it? It is easy to feel disappointed when you make a change in you powerful initial determination about a project or piece of work. It is a fine line and can only become clear by doing projects.

Constantly allowing change for me is important. When I become static my creative life feels frustrated. At the same time routines allow me to have a structure to build on. Therefore, positive listening becomes an important part of the process.

So we have had a brief look from my perspective at Unity, Caring and Positive Listening. It may be useful to keep a note of these points and check out this series of articles, as all the points are inextricably linked.


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