Tribute To A Creative Genius
Don Hewitt

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Joel’s newsletter on A Tribute To Don Hewitt, August 26, 2009

An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference 

Last week I briefly mentioned several top creative people. That same day the world lost another very creative and innovative individual, Don Hewitt of CBS news. Don was the creator of the popular broadcast 60 Minutes, and he was probably the one who had the most influence in making TV news what it is today. He exemplified creativity in many ways. Let's look at a few of those ways.

* Don Hewitt was full of energy and passionate for his work at CBS. There was no dull moment when Don was present. Highly creative individuals have a lot of passion and enthusiasm. When your energy is high, your mind works more efficiently, and the ideas flow more quickly (see Tip below).
* Don conceived the news "magazine" idea by taking the familiar magazine format from Life and applying it to television news. The result was a completely new and successful kind of news show. This is a powerful creative thinking technique - to take a concept from one medium or environment and to use it in another.
* When Don noticed pushpin letters being used on a restaurant menu, he thought of the idea of using "super" titles overlaid on the TV picture to identify key personalities at a political convention. Creative people have an eye for clues and ideas like that, which they can then use to solve a problem or make life easier in some way.
* When Don Hewitt was fired as producer of the CBS Evening News, he went on to develop his greatest contribution, 60 Minutes. Creative thinkers see opportunities no matter what happens, even when there's a perceived setback.
* During that period after being let go as producer, Don had more free time and was able to be with his family more. This illustrates another important step in the creative process - taking time off and letting ideas incubate. Often that's when the greatest ideas are born.
* Don's colleagues thought of him as a kid at heart. Creative people, like children, have excellent imaginations, and they're not afraid to use them. And it can be lots of fun!
* Don Hewitt used to say that news presentations should be based on the four words every child knows: "tell me a story". That's the essence of what attracts TV viewers. In creative thinking, it's important to get to the essence of things. That's where creative ideas often spring - from what's at the core.
* The name "60 Minutes" really describes the length of the show rather than the content. Thus Don was not limiting what he could put into that time slot. This is an example of changing the rules regarding how things are usually done - another creative thinking technique.
* One time back when Khrushchev was visiting Iowa, no reporter could get near him. But Don went over to the Sheriff's office, talked them into making himself a sheriff, and was able to get to his prize. This is a great example of thinking "out of the box", which is what being creative is all about. It's also shows how you need to be bold enough to do whatever it takes!
* Don Hewitt was constantly trying to improve the news stories. That's what made him and the shows he produced the best in the news broadcast business. Creative thinkers are always looking for ways to make improvements. And because they're on the lookout, they find ways that no one else ever thought of.

There can be only one Don Hewitt, but everybody has their own unique style of creative ability. What Don did for TV news, may be possible for your field of endeavor, too. Are you using your creative ability to the fullest? How can you tap into more of your own potential? Contact Joel at or 973-701-1007 for some ideas.

Creative thinking tip

Have you ever noticed that ideas seem to come to you when you're too busy to do anything with them, or even remember them? When you're engaged in activity, your mind is also more active and the ideas flow more quickly. If you're really passionate about something, you're not only more active, but also more focused. When your mind is focused and you're excited about what you're doing, you're likely to be much more creative.

Someone like Don Hewitt had a passion for what he did, and thus showed immense creativity. Likewise, if you come across someone who appears very creative, there's probably a lot of passion behind what they're doing.

So if you want to be more creative, try getting more passionate about whatever you're engaged in. It's all about raising your energy level. That may mean stepping beyond your comfort zone a little, but isn't that where real innovation lies?

Here are some creative contributions from readers:

* Kathryn Riss coined the word "biomuck" to mean any kind of biological or medical waste, such as kitty litter, diapers, etc. * Flo Schell launched "The No. 1 Mentoring Agency", taking the idea from the HBO series, "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency". She applies the caring, common sense qualities of detective, Precious, to her own business and career coaching.

What creative ideas have you come up with? If you send them to me, I'll include them in this newsletter. Please let me know how you want your name to appear, or if you wish to remain anonymous. Thanks!

Quote of the week

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out." - Ray Bradbury

I'm not sure exactly what Ray meant by this quote, but to me it basically means that we have so much to give. All day long we are taking in impressions, and we process them, filter them, and add our own interpretations. Presumably we hold onto the good stuff that results, letting the rest fall by the wayside. But we don't have to keep the goodness all to ourselves; we can share it, whether it's in the form of creative ideas, kind words, poetry, music, or expressions of love. All we need is an outlet, and to let it pour out. We can even create the outlet by tipping ourselves slightly from time to time. Then we can let ourselves slowly fill up again with new material, and so on.

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This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.

Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at

MORE Perspectives by Coach Joel Remde

7 Habits Of Highly Creative People
Creative Thinking and Life Potentials
Ways To Respond To Problems
Potential and Possibilities
Making A Difference
Finding Greatness
Perfect Alignment
Meanings And Opportunities
A Vision Makes A Difference
Invisible Connections
Creative Individuals
A Tribute To Don Hewitt
Lessons From The River
What Is Creative Thinking?
It's All About Energy
More On Energy
Place Of Power
Visioning Lab
Simple Lessons
Buildings And Values
Small Town Trauma
Voting And Choosing
Veterans And Gratitude
Creative Apps
Thanksgiving, Thankfulness And More
Everyday Heroes
Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher
Holiday Rituals
Love One Another
A Look At The Year
Happy New You
Creativity And The Economy 

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