Steve Farber photo

Can You Bring Your Personal Talents and Passions to Work?

At a recent conference in Australia, I had the opportunity to raise the personal nature of my business another significant rung.

For the last 25 years, my friends have been telling me to find some way to bring my passion for guitar, singing, and songwriting into my leadership work. But I’ve resisted. I didn’t want it to be a frivolous or gratuitous thing.

But, my friend, David T.S. Wood, the man behind the Amplified Leadership Conference, insisted that I not only speak at his event, but that I play music, too.

So, I did. And it was a remarkable experience that created an unprecedented connection between me and the audience of 1200 people. And I’ve had some phenomenal audience connections over the years.

This video was captured by an audience member, and she was kind enough to send it along to me. I’m playing a song called Sailor And The Ocean, which I wrote many years ago on the same guitar you see here.

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So here’s my question for you:

Do you have a passion or talent that you’ve relegated to your “personal life”, that you can bring into your so-called “business life,” too?

Do you have any examples of how you’ve done that already?


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  1. Steve,

    Glad to see that I am not alone; if only in my mind and not fully musical as you are. I could run to the odd card trick. You nailed it by questioning how can you possibly separate business from personal. I have always believed that to present and be received well…there has to be a personal connection. You have taken it to another level leaving your audience with something ultra memorable.

    I am continuing to spread the MYCASKI word in the hope that it will itself become something of a watchword and continue to provide a powerful reminder of a Leadership mindset .

    ‘MYCASKI, how personal is that; it begins with MY and ends in I.

    Best of Regards

  2. David Pinter says:

    You’ve nailed it (or should I say) “Re-Nailed” it! From the start you have propagated the practice of our individual passions and professionalism running parallel within the workplace. As you have stated, the line of demarcation (or “neutral zone” for Trekkies) should be almost unobservable. As a practicing “Leap-er” for @11 years now, I can tell you it still transforms lives. Sometimes one individual at a time, sometimes the complete office/organizations. Each “starfish” (remember the story of the thousands of starfish on the beach) is worth it. They in turn “radicalize” another person or whole organization. I am proud to tell you, “my brother from another mother” that I was recently promoted to the district level of the largest landmass school system in the US of A. As the Director of Recruitment (and military affairs – love your Sailor and the Ocean world debut) I will have many opportunities to impact those for the cause. Love ya, Brah! Don’t need your permission to love ya! My love for you is not dependent upon your love for me. Leap-ON!!!!!!!

    • Wow, David! That’s fantastic news. Congrats on the new and exceedingly well deserved opportunity to change lives. Let’s catch up soon–it’s been way too long!

  3. So it may seem a bit hokey but my friend introduced me to you because your email spoke to him and reminded him of me and my mantra. It’s always nice to be remembered when people are exposed to the same lesson given from a different voice. So thanks Steve. Looking forward to learning more about you…

  4. Clark Hodge says:


    I’ve been working for IT manufacturers, in an outward facing position for the past 30 years. I always had a ‘game face’ when doing my job. My personal side wasn’t important so I kept that to myself.

    On the personal side, about 5 years ago I met a little girl and her family. The little girl had leukemia. I had to do something for her. A teddy bear wasn’t right. I had an original piece of music commissioned and performed for her. It was huge for her, her family, the musicians and composer, and the audience too. I then did about one piece a year, (different composers, musicians, styles) for other children with critical illnesses.

    Well, I was recently laid off from my job. The IT industry never made me cry. But, that little girl,(and all of the others) did. So, I took the thing that I have the most passion for, and that is the most meaningful, and made that my full-time mission. I’ve formed, and am building “Chase the Music” – a non-profit to facilitate the creation of more of these gifts for some very special children.

    Now when I talk to people – I’m not playing a role, so much as really being me. No more ‘game face’ – but a more authentic Clark.

    I would love to chat with you – to see if you’d be interested as a singer/songwriter – to do a piece for a child. Warning – it’ll make you cry…


    • That’s a fabulous story, Clark. And, yes, I’d be humbled and honored to participate as a songwriter, etc. I see that you’ve signed up for the audio series, so contact me by hitting “reply” to one of the emails, and we’ll find a time to chat on the phone. I’ll have a box of tissues standing by.

  5. Kuiz Phil says:

    Steve, this is a very interesting initiative, as I just completed a new activity I created called “Kuizphil?”, and I am starting to investigate how to integrate it in some companies.

    This is my slogan: “You will discover more about a person in one hour of play than in a year of conversation – Plato”

    I am currently in an IT job and really would like to use it with teams.

    It is an activity made mainly of Quizzes and some special quick games like choreography, etc… Can be very funny…

    The activity lasts about 3 hours, and because I force the teams to change, people
    interact a lot, as we know everyone wants to win when they play.

    And there is a price at the end for the winner…

    “KuizPhil?” is in French now, but I am working on an English version, you can find the brochure on my Facebook page.

    So, yes, I have done it many times with friends, and many of them like me, think that I should bring it into my and others so-called “business life”. And it is only a half day investment. Like your song, this is a way to create or reinforce the links between people that are so desperately needed in our job lives now.

    I do consider that I have the talent to run these sessions in a professional way and the passion to see the results when people enjoy playing.

    Best regards

    Philippe / Brussels / Belgium

    • Clark Hodge says:

      Philippe – Love it! When you’re ready – I’d love to take a look too!

    • Sounds cool, Philippe! Please let me (and all of us) know when it’s available in English.