We have covered it here before, CEOs and business leaders who find their artistic practice very integral in the success of running their business. Let’s cover two more leaders who have proven that arts and business do indeed complement each other and make for valuable business lessons.
WHO: David Steinberger
WHAT: Juilliard-trained vocal artist, also CEO and cofounder of comiXology, an Amazon.com subsidiary that’s the largest distributor of digital comic books
SAY WHAT?!: In 1998, after graduating from Juilliard, Steinberger abandoned his artistic dreams of singing at The Met and instead began training Wall Street bankers and lawyers to present to audiences–first at Credit Suisse and then as a temp assigned to different firms.
He’s won a business plan competition while still an MBA student at NYU, raised an estimated $2.85 million in venture and seed financing in comiXology’s early days, lead annual “ask me anything” open forums at San Diego Comic Con, and orchestrated an Amazon buyout in April 2014 – proving he has built a lucrative business career getting others to listen to him.
QUOTABLE: To this day, he credits singing for helping him find his business voice. “When you’re performing solo–just you and your pianist, which I love to do–you’re very exposed. You learn to be really, really prepared before going on stage”.
TO BE HEARD, FIRST YOU MUST LISTEN
THEN, YOU MUST LEARN TO BREATHE
FINALLY, YOU MUST FOCUS
WHO: Sydney Skybetter
TELL ME MORE!: He’s catalyzed innovation inside organizations ranging from The National Ballet of Canada to Hasbro, Bloomberg Philanthropies to the University of Southern California.
He produces an annual symposium called the Conference for Research on Choreographic Interfaces (CRCI) to gather dancers, ethnographers, computer scientists, artists and others to think about how we choreograph our devices, and how they choreograph us. Oh, he’s also faculty at Brown University.
QUOTABLE: “If you want to fire people and ratchet up efficiency, hire a suit. If you want your team to ideate and move seamlessly together, hire a choreographer.”
Photo: Steinberger via Fast Company and Skybetter via Safety Third Productions.