Sting’s TED Talk is a necessary listen

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

29 September 2015


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Yesterday, by happenstance, I opened my podcast app and decided to update my five podcast subscriptions.

I’m glad I did.

One of the podcasts I like to come back to from time to time is the Ted Talk Radio Hour, which is hosted by NPR (can you ever really go wrong with, NPR?).

This week’s podcast was a rebroadcast of a show that aired last October entitled, “The Source of Creativity.”

As is per usual, the show is broken into a handful of segments and rehashes key components of the TED Talk series. It’s definitely worth your time and attention.

His thoughts on creativity are profound.

His thoughts on creativity are profound.

The first segment was on the musician, Sting. I’ve always been a middle of the road fan of his solo work and a much greater fan of The Police. While that’s besides the point, it was that reason alone that I was curious enough to hear what he had to say about inception of creativity and how to overcome writer’s block.

We all struggle to come up with good ideas.

Sting gave powerful insight into an eight-year period of writer’s block. Prior, he was a hit machine, writing songs, which he admits, were solely about him and his experiences. It came to a point where he tapped out of things to say about his life experience from his vantage point.

He searched that entire time. Asking questions of his faith and of himself, “Have I said all that I am supposed to say?” This tormenting thought weighs heavy on any person of creativity.

Soon, he realized his vantage point needed to change. It was time for him to write about the people he knew, who he grew up with in Wallsend, from their perspective. Soon enough he was writing songs that took on dialects and were used as fodder for a Broadway play, The Last Ship.

Sting reminded me of what it means to be creative. 

When we create, we are taking a chance. We are placing our faith in an idea that doesn’t come from the mind, but from the gut. It takes practice to embrace those creative ideas and not overthink them and a willingness to ask hard questions of yourself, like Sting did. It’s that journey and self-reflection which, if we are willing to accept, can bring us to the ideas we are looking for.

It’s also a process from which you develop powerful brands. Stepping outside yourself and looking at things from an outsider’s perspective. That’s when you truly become creative and persuasive.


See more posts in the following related categories: Sting TED Talk


  1. David Herrick

    There are times when I know I am at the top of my game and finding unique and innovative solutions is just a process. Simply educate myself about the product/service – just let all the info simmer inside my brain for a day or two – then – it all flows almost effortlessly. But there are times (like for the past few months) that I know nothing exceptional is being brought to the table. It’s just a part of the reality of living my life in the creative arena. You learn to deal with it and hope it’s not a permanent condition.
    I do like what Sting said. I believe his solution was a good one for him – but it’s not necessarily THE answer for everyone. I am guessing the smells, sounds and feeling he got from his childhood have not changed all that much. It probably stirred up those juices again. I suppose living in any kind of celebrity vacuum might have caused him to be a well adjusted celebrity but not such a prolific writer.

    • Tom Dougherty

      Very well said David. As usual with your thoughtful comments.


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