Intro to book reviews

When I was in school, if I’m being candid, I didn’t really enjoy much of the academics. One of my least favorite things was book reports. I didn’t like reading (mostly because I’ve never been good at it), and I hated writing about things I didn’t want to read in the first place (I’m looking at you The Island of the Blue Dolphins).

That was something that I carried with me for a long time. I have always had an affinity for audiobooks, even though I didn’t realize it for a long time. It all started with Hank the Cowdog and carried on with Harry Potter.

Early on in my adult life, I started to find more enjoyment in audiobooks and it has led me down several paths that I’m sincerely happy that it has.

In this blog series, I hope that you are lead to books that will help enrich your life and assist you in finding direction both professionally and personally.

Ross Hamil

Creative Director, Hamil Bros Studios

Creativity Inc

There’s absolutely no way I can do this book justice. Creativity, Inc, by Ed Catmull may be the book with the biggest influence on me as a business owner and as a person.

In this book, Ed gives the story of his journey from wanting to be a Disney animator to starting Pixar to when Pixar finally joined Disney.

While the story is really cool to listen to, and some of the technological things he discusses are mind-blowing to me as someone in the film/video industry, the life and business lessons are where the real value is.

My Thoughts

Personally, I feel like I learned a lot from Ed on thought processes and it has changed the way I think and approach everything. This had an impact to the degree that, at 34 years old, I’ve decided I want to be like Ed Catmull when I grow up.

I also find myself really identifying with a lot of what Ed encountered in his journey. There were things that he wanted to do, that he just didn’t have the skillset for. However, he found a way to make what he wanted to do fit him, rather than change himself to do what he wanted to do. Sounds a bit counterintuitive, but, what I mean is he could have gone against who he was to only be okay at something instead of using who he was to make different version of what he wanted that suited him.

While, that’s not really my story, or at least I don’t see it that way, for Ed, good enough was never good enough, and I can identify with that. He learned to deal with people in a way that built everybody up.

I’ve worked in situations where everyone had to fit into what the boss wanted. Ed built a company that had places for its team to fit in and if the company didn’t fit someone, then he made changes to fit that person’s needs. It almost sounds like pandering, but what he really did was build a machine that harnessed everyone’s skills to propel Pixar forward and maximized their potential. How was this not a win-win? His team was a powerhouse that let him to do whatever he wanted to do and, at the same time, everyone had a high level of satisfaction with their work which can be a transcendent experience.

If I can’t do this at Hamil Bros Studios, then I’m not sure what I will do.

Leave us some comments

I would love to hear your thoughts on this book, if you’ve read it and I would also like to hear some feedback on books you recommend and why!

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