Byron's Babbles

Becoming Great Editors Of Ourselves

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on July 16, 2021

I am loving the book, Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View Of The Life Of Leonardo da Vinci by Mike Lankford. I have always tried to get my hands on everything available to read on Leonardo da Vinci. He was such a complex individual and there are so many lessons to learn from continually studying his life and how he worked. This book is greatly adding to the lessons and life of da Vinci. One of the things that really jumped out at me this morning was how much, as a true lifelong learner, da Vinci was constantly self-editing. He knew how to step away, take something apart to get a different view of how it worked, look at things in, literally, different light, or even when in a different mood. We would do well to take some lessons from da Vinci’s playbook. I loved this from the author:

“All art is channeled energy, be it music, painting, sculpture, or literature. Leonardo’s time-consuming methods were a way of gathering and re-gathering energy throughout the project. At best, most people start off with a burst and then dribble away by the end. This must have happened to Leonardo as well early on, but as a close self-observer he learned from it. He learned to leave and come back, to look with different eyes, different moods, different times of the day—all these things allowed him to see better and to better understand. He became a great editor of himself” (pp. 127-128).

Lankford, M. (2017). Becoming Leonardo: An Exploded View Of The Life Of Leonardo da Vinci. Brooklyn, NY: Melvin House Publishing.

I love the statement, “He became a great editor of himself.” This is a skill anyone in any career, or life in general, should work to hone. I love the definition on Wikipedia of editing: “The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete piece of work” (Mamishev, Alexander, Williams, Sean, Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, John Wiley & Sons. Inc., Hoboken, 2009, p. 128). I like that it is called a process. We all need to work at becoming a self-observer, become reflective and take an introspective look at ourselves and our work product. As Lankford told us, “He [Leonardo] learned to leave and come back, to look with different eyes, different moods, different times of the day—all these things allowed him to see better and to better understand” (p. 128). We need to seek to see better and better understand.

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