Tag Archives: Seth Godin

A Quote for the Day – from Seth Godin

Seth Godin says:

The number of people you need to ask for permission keeps going down

Here’s the entire post:

The number of people you need to ask for permission keeps going down:
1. Go, make something happen.
2. Do work you’re proud of.
3. Treat people with respect.
4. Make big promises and keep them.
5. Ship it out the door.
When in doubt, see #1.

Being Indispensable Has Its Limits – Be Careful!

The sub-title of Seth Godin’s new best-seller, Linchpin, is “Are You Indispensable?”

Over the years, I have facilitated several strategic planning sessions for departments, divisions, and units, which included the formation of a mission statement specific to the work that they do.

I joked on Friday morning at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas that when these groups have difficulty writing what they do, what purpose they serve, how they are indispensable, or in other words, what the organization would look like or how it would get along without them – they need to figure that out before someone else does!  If they weren’t there, how could the organization survive?  That list needs to be as ugly-looking as possible. 

Of course, you could say the same thing about an individual, which is the subject of Godin’s book.  If you are not indispensable, you do not stand out or contribute in a unique way, and you are certainly not a linchpin.

I have been with some groups who got excited about the prospects of writing their mission statement.  I am all for enthusiasm, but the great anchor in all cases must be alignment.  Do you align with the mission of the larger organization?  If your group does not align with, cascade with, and fit in with, the organization of which it is a member, you could be writing your ticket out of the organization.

You may view this as limiting.  It may not sound creative to you.  You are probably right.  Think about it.  If you describe the purpose you serve in ways that do not support the purpose of the body that you work for, you do not belong there. 

The reality is that every department or division is not its own island.  You can be indispensable without being stupid. 

What do you think?  Let’s talk about it.

Coming in June for the First Friday Book Synopsis: Daniel Pink’s Drive, and Employee Engagement

For the June First Friday Book Synopsis, I will be presenting a synopsis of the best-selling Daniel Pink book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. This has been well-reviewed, Bob Morris and I have both blogged about it on this site a few times, and it will be a terrific choice to help you think about what motivates you and those around you.

Karl Krayer has chosen a practical book on employee engagement.  All companies want their employees to be fully engaged, but attaining this elusive goal is tough.  The book is Make Their Day!:  Employee Recognition That Works by Cindy Ventrice.

Mark your calendars now for June 4, our June First Friday Book Synopsis.

(and note:  our synopses from this morning — Linchpin by Seth Godin and ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson — should be up on our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com, in just a few days).

PowerPoint Run Amuck – (with update from Seth Godin)

I wrote this paragraph in this post: A Set of PowerPoint Slides is NOT a “presentation” – a rant:

Quick, what do the following “presenters,”  John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Jordan, Ronald Reagan, have in common?  They never used PowerPoint in their “presentations.”

Now comes this (through Andrew Sullivan, as happens so often):

“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina. (He spoke without PowerPoint.) Brig. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who banned PowerPoint presentations when he led the successful effort to secure the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar in 2005, followed up at the same conference by likening PowerPoint to an internal threat.

“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” General McMaster said in a telephone interview afterward. “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”

This is the slide that made the rounds…

Click image to enlarge


Update: Seth Godin agrees – PowerPoint may not be such a good idea…

All help is self-help – all persuasion is self-persuasion

Mincing no words, Seth Godin gets to the point (as he frequently does!).  Here’s part of what he wrote:


If you read a book that tries to change you for the better and it fails or doesn’t resonate, then it’s a self-help book.
If you read a book that actually succeeds in changing you for the better, then the label changes from self-help book to great book.
By the way, the only real help is self-help. Anything else is just designed to get you to the point where you can help yourself.

I agree.  And, just as all real help is self-help, all persuasion is self-persuasion.  A lot of people write and speak a lot of words hoping for one thing – that you will listen to their arguments closely enough and well enough to change your own thinking, feeling, or behaving/acting.

They can’t make you change (maybe they could – but that would be coercion, not persuasion).  Their best hope is to give you tools to help you change for yourself.