Clarity First Newsletter,
October 18, 2019

“Creating problems is easy. We do it all the time. Finding solutions, ones that last and produce good results, requires guts and care.” – Henry Rollins

Clarity First

A notebook about how we work, and learn, and love and live.

I like how Henry Rollins names that meaningful change requires both courage and attention. Finding good solutions is not easy.

But whoever said that what is important is easy?

Let’s do this. Let’s give our guts and our care to making the world we want, not one we settle for. The simple act of trying makes one feel a whole lot better.

Happy Friday.


“The more I looked, the more I realized: state investment is everywhere.”

Credit: Matt Holyoak

“Mariana Mazzucato has demonstrated that the real driver of innovation isn’t lone geniuses but state investment. Now she’s working with the UK government, EU and UN to apply her moonshot approach to the world’s biggest challenges.”

Article: This Economist Has A Plan To Fix Capitalism. It’s Time We All Listened

Organizational Health

We all want to experience a sense of belonging at work. Feeling safe to be vulnerable is a good place to start.

“Winter Solstice Winter All-Employee Recognition” by milwaukeeva is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

“Our goal is to address the stigma around vulnerability in the workplace and really try to encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. We believe the more we can share our humanity, the more we can inspire each other, change perceptions and create meaningful change.”

Article: How One Leading Financial Firm Is Creating A Culture Of Vulnerability

Creative Process, Personal Development

The creative mind’s high level of openness and sensitivity makes it more exposed – to everything.

Illustration for Creative Confessions by Creative Brands

“Veronica Mike is a creative strategist and the founder of It’s Friendly, a company dedicated to building a more people-friendly and sustainable creative industry. Their project, Creative Confessions, has a mission to promote openness on mental health and help creatives who struggle feel less lonely and abnormal. In recognition of World Mental Health Day, they compiled the #404 Mental Health Awareness Kit, providing creatives with resources and guidelines on how to better themselves and others.”

Article: Dare to be Open, Dare to be Sensitive: How to Shape The Conversation Around Creative Mental Health


Shared Leadership

Managing other people’s bad moods and difficult emotions well is an ability that can be practiced and strengthened.

“In this article, I want to share five specific skills that help me to effectively and respectfully handle other people’s difficult emotions.

“If you can learn to cultivate them, these skills will help you keep your cool in every relationship in your life, especially the most important ones like spouses, bosses, parents, children, etc.”

Article: Five Simple Tricks For Handling Other People’s Bad Moods Like a Pro, According To a Therapist



A font in homage to Greta Thunberg’s strength in communication

“Tal Shub is a designer based in New York who co-founded Uno, a company with a mission to eradicate single-use plastic bottles by offering a reusable alternative. Alongside the team with which he runs this venture, he has also produced an ode to Greta Thunberg in the form of a typeface called Greta Grotesk, inspired by and emulating the teenage activist’s handwriting.”

“He started by looking at all the material that was available online and identified two distinct signs which Greta had made. By un-distorting the images, he was able to extract letters with high contrast. ‘We then traced letters from both of these signs and converted them into vector format,’ he explains.”

Article: Greta Grotesk is a Typeface in Homage to the Teenage Activist’s Handwriting


“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.” – David Packard

After “more than 4 years of professional experience” Jonah Malin has identified some of the most problematic issues with modern marketing. Through my lens of more than 40 years of professional experience, I think he’s spot on.

Point 1: “… a lot of teams are still stuck on the tropes and metaphors that worked in advertising decades ago. Marketers need to change and begin to ask themselves, ‘how are we going to do this differently?’” This is a great place to start.

Article: Everything Wrong With Modern Marketing in Less Than 5 Minutes

Personal Development

The value of “deep and deliberate” practice

By now you’ve heard that what separates the masters from the also-rans is “10,000 hours of practice”. But there’s more. It’s not just the hours, it’s the intention in the hours.

Article: If You Feel Busy, You’re Doing it Wrong- The Surprisingly Relaxed Lives of Elite Achievers


Many years ago, long enough ago that I don’t remember when, my son Devan and I started a tradition. On our respective birthdays the non-birthday boy shares a playlist with the birthday boy, with one song for each year that boy is celebrating. Once upon a time we mailed CDs to each other. Last week, on my 66th birthday, he sent me a Spotify playlist named, per our protocol, 66 for 66.

Currently I am a very rich person in my counting house. I will be referring to artists I learned of from this list for years. And from these amazing riches I want to pluck one artist first, Buck Meek.

His day job is co-founder, songwriter, guitarist and second vocalist for Big Thief. Devan saw them three years ago at the Pickathon Festival, and he tells me that Meek had a hard time not outshining the rest of the group. I love how this guy melds the spirits of old folk, indie rock, jazz and country into a fresh new sound that we’ve never heard before.

And I love how the love of music is passed so easily from one generation to the next. Today some my best musical references come from my three kids.

Video: Buck Meek | Ruby | The Blue Room

Video: Buck Meek – Cannonball! – 6/5/2018 – Paste Studios – New York, NY


Image of the week

“Artist Ava Roth loves working on collaborative projects. But her studiomates aren’t fellow two-footed friends. Rather, Roth pairs with her backyard honeybees to create mixed media collages combining embroidery, beadwork, fabric, tree bark, and honeycomb.

“The Toronto-based artist builds artworks inside the comb frames, and the bees complete the pieces by encasing them in organic honeycomb patterns. ‘This project is a collaboration in the truest sense. It involves careful listening, respecting the bees, and cooperating with them entirely, from the choice of materials, size, timing and scope of design,’ Roth told Colossal magazine. ‘My intention is to celebrate the extraordinary work of the honeybee and match it with sewings that invoke their delicate and ephemeral comb.’”


What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a pedagogy and toolbox for transformation. Learn more.

If you get value from Clarity First, please pass it on.

Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

You can also read Clarity-First on the web.

Leave a Comment