The timing of El Greco


The man who invented modern art lived two hundred years too early.

Look at some of his work. It’s incredibly fresh and relevant. At the time (1600!), El Greco was a radical outlier, and his most impressionistic paintings didn’t resonate… not with most of the market, nor with his peers. As a result, it wasn’t until the 19th century that impressionistic paintings like his became the new ‘ism’.

It’s entirely possible that you’re too soon. That your riffs, your book, your blog, your invention, your product are just so far ahead of the sync that you will not find the market acceptance you seek.

It’s your fault, of course, because the market is the market. You can lead it, but you cannot force it to change.

Given the market you’ve got, are you just far enough ahead?

No one can doubt the genius of El Greco. But if you want impact, you need to go beyond genius and work on your timing.

Real change happens when we’re in sync. Just a little bit ahead. Trusted and connected and leading. Too far ahead is a form of hiding.

[Please don’t confuse “too far ahead” with bold, or daring. The real lesson of El Greco’s timing is that for every person with the guts to be too far ahead, there are 10,000 who are too far behind. The worst thing you can do is decide that the lesson of El Greco is to back off and not be bold. Please don’t!]

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