National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Don’t Rule Out ‘Creative Doers’

BY Dave Durand

June 29 - July 5, 2008 Issue | Posted 6/24/08 at 1:52 PM


I am sure your creative skills are your strong suit. God gave you these for a reason, so be sure to exercise them whenever you get an appropriate opportunity. Creativity is like any other natural talent. It gets better with training and practice.

The first key to tackling your challenge is to prevent yourself from succumbing to the deflating idea that you are a creative type rather than a doer. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Second, please forgive me for being direct, but it is my experience that people who claim to be creative but not go-getters are often trying to put an attractive veneer on a real problem: laziness.

I have worked with many doers whose greatest strength is creativity. Being creative is doing. Having a strong creative side never excuses a person from action or execution. How can you tell the difference between creative people who are not lazy and creative people who hide behind their creativity as an excuse not to execute?

Look at the way they conduct themselves during the creative process.

Self-titled “creatives” who proclaim that they are not “doers” are usually late on deadlines, hard to motivate and unproductive. In some cases, they aren’t even really that creative in the first place. They sometimes choose creative work in order to justify their time or as a way to daydream about what might be without having to do the work.

On the other hand, truly creative people who are not afraid of hard work are reliable and willing to execute plans if they are called upon. In addition, their plans are usually creative enough to be easy to implement in the first place.

I hope you understand that I am not directly accusing you of laziness. I would not know if that is the real issue or if your extenuating circumstances are legitimate.

I offer these insights to encourage you to do a “gut check” in case the answer is not implementation but motivation.

If you are motivated but still find it difficult to get traction, the answer may be found in action steps. A major key to implementing a good plan is breaking it down into manageable steps. Mulling over a huge objective can be daunting.

Meanwhile, successfully taking one step at a time can inspire you to take the next step, and the next, and …

The greatest way to discern whether or not our setbacks are legitimate reasons or personal excuses is to remain close to the sacraments.

Pride is at the root of all sin and pride is always accompanied by blindness. It is essential to seek out the advice you need on a natural level to learn better execution strategies. But without confession and the Eucharist you will find it difficult to determine if the problem is intrinsic or external.

Make the proper diagnosis and you will find the proper cure.

Last year Leadership Excellence magazine named Dave Durand one of the “top 100 minds on personal development.” He’s online at