If necessity is the mother of invention then Leonardo da Vinci must be the father. Beyond the shadow of a doubt da Vinci can easily be regarded as a model to follow for modern day innovators. His healthy lifestyle or the way he organized his work are truly timeless and just as conducive to innovating in the 15th century as in the 21st. 

Check out: 7 Things Leonardo da Vinci Can Teach You About Creativity





  • limb – an arm or leg of a person or four-legged animal, or a bird’s wing
  • fodder – food, esp. dried hay or feed, for cattle and other livestock
  • copious – abundant in supply or quantity
  • inquisitive – curious or inquiring
  • stuffy (adj. of a person) – narrow-minded
  • quest (verb)- search for something
  • ambiguity – uncertainty or inexactness
  • doodle – a rough drawing made absentmindedly


Think about it

Answer the questions below. 

  • What is the essence of originality?
  • What happens to curiosity with age?
  • What should more senior people do to think independently? Why?
  • What can you do to make sure that your senses stay sharp?
  • What does the author say about the ability to spontaneously create something entirely original?


Practice makes perfect

In the sentences below replace the phrases in bold with the expressions from the original text.

  • I’m going to express an unpopular point of view here and say that since his death, the world has never really had another Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Gelb says the material for his book came from studying Leonardo’s notebooks.
  • Children are inherently curious, but as we grow up much of our inquisitiveness fades away.
  • So the older you are, the more concerted effort you must make to seek out different opinions.
  • Gelb helps business people get more in synch with their senses by training them to appreciate beauty.
  • The ability to remain confident when encountering the unknown is a critical leadership principle because if it’s going to be new it means you don’t know it.
  • Not convinced you can start generating a large number of great ideas?
  • Your goal should be lots of ideas, so don’t dismiss them before they make it on a list.


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