poetry teaches us to wrestle with and simplify complexity. Harman Industries founder Sidney Harman once told The New York Times, “I used to tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers. They look at our most complex environments and they reduce the complexity to something they begin to understand.” Emily Dickinson, for example, masterfully simplified complex topics with poems like “Because I could not stop for Death,” and many poets are similarly adept. Business leaders live in multifaceted, dynamic environments. Their challenge is to take that chaos and make it meaningful and understandable. Reading and writing poetry can exercise that capacity, improving one’s ability to better conceptualize the world and communicate it — through presentations or writing — to others.
Perhaps I should elevate poetry higher on the list given this piece. I’ve been writing since I was 9, surely its got to count for a little bit more than the ramblings of love lost, gained, angered, or pretty bicycles. Or maybe, like this article simply states, what if the introspective and creative leanings of the poet simply made them better able to handle the environments of business – that is, unless they chose to change rhythm to another stanza.