We all want to belong, we all want to be accepted in a group of peers. Humans are herd-animals, we depend on each other. So no wonder that we seek the acceptance of a group. That’s what makes us so strong. We can diversify and delegate our work, we can specialize in a certain thing, like music.
Group pressure though can be pretty strong and rigid, excluding everyone who is different, everyone who does not want to adapt. That’s how I felt in my teens, growing up in a small village with a very closed culture. That’s also how many artists felt in their teens and how they often still feel.
For humans to prosper, they not only need to work together in a group, they also need queer-thinkers, people who dare to stand out, who think different, who pursue new idea’s, who do not adapt. Most of the bards, healers and tribe-leaders in the past were outsiders.
In the last years I have spend a lot of time promoting the mental health of artists, in personal coaching, training, guest lectures and writing. It became very helpful to apply leadership traits from the business world to artists. In the end, given the relationship between artists and audience or fans, artists ARE leaders.
I myself was inspired for this by the book “When remarkable women lead” by J. Barsh. The book put me, seeing myself as an outsider, in a different context. Suddenly a touch of grace was added, my back was straightened again.
As a leader, you are responsible for your own well-being and for the well-being of others. Often the feeling of being an outsider is linked to the feeling of being a victim. When seeing yourself as a leader, you can shrug off the victim-hood and stand grand.
Artists often are outsiders. You can better see yourself as the leader that you are, than indulge yourself in victim-hood. Once you get this, like Greta Thunberg did, you create your own group of peers, of like-minded peers that accept you for who you are.