Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I have thought about “nothing” a number of times since attending a charity art fund raiser a month ago. Not useless nothing, but “The Nothing Machine.” It was equally interesting to the intellectual and engineering sides of my personality. The Nothing Machine stood 6 feet tall and about 3 foot by 3 foot square. It had a small electric motor that moved an endless series of gears, pullies, chains and rolling balls that ultimately pushed keys on an old typewriter to type out the word nothing over and over.

The artist’s point was - “The nothing machine was inspired by the world that revolves around us. With so much going on in life, it is often hard to slow down and see what really matters. Nothing really matters. Nothing is really important. Nothing is what is left when we are gone. Life goes by and we need to make our “Nothing” count.”

Leaders have an obligation to help their teams connect and make things count. Mindless work does not inspire creativity or self fulfillment.

What did you do this week to remove your team’s “Nothingness”?


Anonymous said...

I have nothing to say about this story.

Leader said...

Its all about Nothing! As a child my parents said I cried over nothing...little did they know important nothing was.

People asked me what I did over the holidays and they looked surprised when I said "nothing". It was so nice to not travel, eat too much, fight the cold and snow, and spend time with strangers in airports. I had a taste of doing "nothing" for 2 weeks and it gives me "something" to look forward to.

John, I look forward to hearing more about nothing from you. Since I will still be working instead of being able to do nothing all day.

Seaya soon...Ray

John Bishop said...


If you want to try something interesting and insightful, when someone asks you "what do you do?"

Rather than answering with your profession, answer with one of your hobbies. I've answered that I coach youth basketball and it has moved the conversation to interesting places.

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