a painting of the author, the description of the blog, and his URL: rickkitagawa.com/blog

The Worst Piece in Your Portfolio

In the visual art world, there’s a saying that you’ll get hired by the worst piece in your portfolio. 

What this means is not that the person hiring is going to fall in love with your worst piece – it means that you’re going to be judged by the weakest piece you offer up. Meaning that if your work is mainly amazing, but you have one mediocre piece in your portfolio, art directors will think of you as a mediocre artist, not an amazing one.

This is because what you’re telling the world is that you either can’t tell the difference between amazing and mediocre, or you can’t be bothered to invest the time to only have amazing pieces in your portfolio.

This might not be an accurate representation of your work, but this idea of you being judged by your weakest asset tends to extend outside the art world as well. 

As a leader, your leadership skills won’t be judged by how you lead in good times. After all, most people at least appear to be doing a good job when everything is great. It’s in a crisis that you’ll really be evaluated. 

This may seem unfair, in that we’re constantly judged based on our worst work. But doesn’t that just mean we need to invest in improving our weaknesses? 

And doesn’t that mean that we need others to help us identify what those weaknesses are? 

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