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Off-Centered Leadership by Sam Calagione

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Chapter 8Collaborative CreativityPassion and Patience

I consider myself blessed to have a career where I can be creative. As I described in Brewing Up a Business, I moved to New York to be a writer. The first batch of home brew I ever concocted was in my Manhattan apartment, and the pure joy I experienced in the process—conceiving the recipe, physically making the beer, and then sharing it with my friends—convinced me I had found my calling. I can honestly say I've never looked back nor doubted that decision to commit myself to the beer business. But the urge, maybe even the need, to be creative still runs deep inside me and continually stirs my passions. I've always been able to find satisfying outlets for that ambition at Dogfish Head. For me, inventing a recipe for a beer that never existed before is like writing a poem.

“Off-centered” has served as my paradigm for creativity, and Dogfish Head has always provided a platform to play it out. With this guiding principle it only makes sense that I launched an initiative that is outside the mainstream and appeals to an adventurous, eccentric audience, a little outside the mainstream. My personal sensibility and creative whims are what passed for our company's R&D program for almost two decades. I'd have a flash of insight about the next big unique thing we should do; inspiration would typically come while paddleboarding or riding my bike through the oceanside state park down the road from my house. I pretty much chose these two ...

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