What You Are and What You Need

In a podcast interview about his tremendous novel The Bone ClocksDavid Mitchell gave this answer to a question about “hiding” big ideas under a great story:

It is replete with ideas. I am at heart a novelist; I am not at heart an academic or a critic or a scholar or a great big thinker or even a small thinker. I’m a novelist. But novels need ideas, like bread needs yeast and a diet needs Vitamin C.

Mitchell makes an important distinction between what he does and what he needs to do his best.

What you need to do your best job might not be your own skill; can you recognize how to use others’ gifts in concert with your own?

What about you? Your role is a conductor/teacher; what do you need to do your best job?