I admit I have never been concerned with being “current.” It’s not important to me to be the first to buy something or see something. I find things in my own time, on my own terms. Sometimes, they happen to be current.
Lately, I’ve been reading Seth Godin. I had heard about Tribes here and there, and vaguely connected it with the reality show Survivor. There is also a Tribes program that various school boards have adopted “to transform young lives.”
I was actually looking for a different Seth~an artist whose name came up on a number of art blogs I frequent. But I found myself lingering on Seth Godin‘s blog. I am not a business person by nature (at least, that is what I told myself for 3 decades), but I seem to have been ambushed by a great interest in business ideas at a time in my life when most people want to retire to get away from doing business.
I went online to access my local library, and put holds on five of Godin’s books. They all came in at once, so I am skipping here and there, writing numerous quotes on yellow stickies. I have a LOT of quote covered stickies.
Godin provides handy little synopses for his books, and Tribes promises to “make you think (really think) about the opportunities in leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers.” The call to leadership can be ignored, but then “you risk turning into a “sheepwalker”—someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good.”
One of my favorite posters of all time shows a huge herd of white sheep, all rushing towards the edge of a high cliff. Only one sheep, black of course, is going in the opposite direction. A balloon over its head says “Excusez moi, excusez moi.” Whenever I think I might be thoughtlessly acting like a sheep, a voice in my head says, “Excusez moi?”
I watched the following YouTube interview with Loic Le Meur and Godin (there are many Godin videos to choose from):
The most memorable insight on this interview was that it’s important to do something you’re good at. Too many people settle for being “a wandering generality instead of a meaningful specific.”
Years ago, I gave up piano because I knew I would never be an excellent composer. It wasn’t enough for me to play other people’s music well~even if they were a Mozart or Bach. I wanted to express my self, which brought me to writing poetry and creating art. I can’t claim I am “the best in the world” at doing those things, but I am concentrating on what I do best. That’s a strategy that will guarantee growth.
Is there something you need to give up so that you can concentrate on what you are really good at?