Big Magic

Posted October 1, 2015 in Leadership, Self-Insight, What We're Reading

Written by: Elizabeth Gilbert

Review by: Audrey Bresar, Sales Manager, Canada – Harlequin

The Premise: In her latest book Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) offers an interesting glimpse into her own creative struggles and process while encouraging readers to do whatever it takes to unlock those “hidden jewels” we all possess and live life more joyously.

Gilbert breaks down the book into six parts: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity, all of which are supposed to aid us in pushing past the fear and discovering our creative life. She uses her own life experiences to help illustrate this evolution to find your true artistic self.

The Bottom-line: This is not your traditional book on leadership and is probably more directed at the artists among us. At first I felt BIG MAGIC was the book you receive as a gift from that happy-go-lucky, feel-good relative who wants to spread joy all over the world, however, I did find some little nuggets that were insightful and could be applied to everyday living and leading.

Gilbert alludes that in the world of creativity there is nothing truly original out there anymore and that authenticity is what will resonate most profoundly. Looking at this from a leadership perspective, in my opinion, leading authentically trumps all else. Authenticity is the one thing that possesses passion, trust and comes from the heart. Another point that Gilbert stresses is to follow your curiosity and keep saying yes.

As leaders, we want to encourage curiosity daily, for the return on investment in this trait can be tenfold. Curiosity drives people forward and makes the unbelievable happen.

The final nugget I found insightful, although not groundbreaking, was her chapter on trust. Words like success or failure should not matter in the creative world. This is a piece of information I need to be reminded of from time to time, even though she refers to it in terms of art. So often in our day-to-day jobs, we look to the final outcome instead of trusting our process, and these words become stumbling blocks, if not actual obstacles in our path.

All in all, the book was an enjoyable read but I did find her personification of “ideas” and “creativity” a bit out there. Her approach to the creative process was unique and fresh and I did find myself reading through this book in one sitting.

Roundtable Rating: An easy-to-read, thought-provoking view on the creative process, great for leaders who are always looking for insightful ways to inspire others and encourage creative thinking.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *