As dropouts, we have to focus on developing ourselves in ways that will help us succeed in all walks of life, whether it’s in business, art, or even in our personal relationships. These are the things that make us able to give our gift to the world. We’ll start by becoming great communicators.
Robin Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln all changed the world in a variety of ways through their abilities to communicate. Robin Williams made millions of people smile and laugh over a lifetime with his voice, body language, and hilarious content. Martin Luther King, Jr. lucidly conveyed a timeless dream to an audience—present and future—that would never forget the day. Abraham Lincoln had the extraordinary confidence to speak simply and succinctly yet make clear what the future held for the nation and the principles that same nation would stand for. Each of these three deeply understood communication, practiced and studied the craft, and were confident in their abilities to articulate and thus effectuate change.
You don’t have to be next to a mic stand, behind a podium, or at a ceremony to utilize communication skills. The “starving artist” must quickly learn to communicate and sell their art in order to survive and continue creating. Startup founders quickly learn to be equal part visionary and salesperson. Social and cultural leaders don’t just have good ideas, but great ways to express them. Relationships depend on communication—on both parties being in sync with each other and exchanging their thoughts and feelings openly.
There’s no avoiding communication, and our success as artists, leaders, employees, and friends depends on it.