Episode Date February 28, 2023
Featured Guest Neil Heyde
Featured Book "The Craftsman" by Richard Sennett

Episode Summary

Neil Heyd reading from Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman, and discussing the importance of learning how you learn in order to grow and succeed in your work.

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It’s 1985, I’m 17, in my final year of high school, and I’m just having fun. There was very little then that hinted at who I’d become now. Though my favorite class was Literature, I wrote nothing aside from the essays that were due the next day. Once, during a school assembly, a classmate of mine got on stage with his cello. Barely knowing what a cello was, I wasn’t all that moved when he announced he’d won some big prize. Then, he played it. While I didn’t really understand the music, I remember thinking, ‘Oh, this is what it means to be really good at something!’ and just how extraordinary it is to be one of the best of the best.

Neil Heyde was that classmate. After graduation, Neil became – and still is – a member of a world-class quartet, a recorded artist, and head of postgraduate programmes at one of the most prestigious music institutions, the Royal Academy of Music in London, which has been his home for decades now.

Neil reads two pages from ‘The Craftsman’ by Richard Sennett. [reading begins at 18:20]

Hear us discuss:

  • “You have to set the agenda for what you want to do.” [4:15]
  • Discovering the goal through the work you do. [23:57]
  • “I think of practice as a workshop.” [27:36]
  • The relationship between your mind and your hand. [29:55]
  • What it’s like to collaborate in a quartet: “I love working in an environment where one has to grapple a bit.” [33:37]
  • How to not allow disagreements to destroy your relationships. [34:59]

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Neil Heyde | Website

Richard Sennett | The Craftsman

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.

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