Excusez moi?

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?


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
This entry was posted in Books/DVDs, Inspiration, Life Strategies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Excusez moi?

  1. I’ve been reading a lot of Seth Godin over the past couple of weeks also as I work on launching some new projects. Hope “The Dip” was 1 of the books you have. It gives you a whole new perspective on when to quit & why quiting isn’t always a bad thing to do. There are some great videos of him at http://www.ted.com also. Good luck with whatever projects you’re getting ready to launch.

  2. flora says:

    Once again you have introduced me to a powerful concept and person in your post. I am definitely in your tribe!!
    I love it that Seth Godin says “I am the best in the world at being me”. and “If you care about something you can stand up and lead”. Very empowering and great food for thought.
    Thanks for your blog, to which I subscribe (which taught me how to let people subscribe to my blog too!)

  3. carolwiebe says:

    Sapphire, I’ve put a hold on The Dip. I left it off my hold list because I didn’t think I needed to know when to quit–I don’t intend to. But on your excellent recommendation I have now put a hold on it, too!

    Flora, I have totally fallen for what this guy has to say. What was your favorite Godin book? Do you actually own them? (I may have to.)

  4. jeanie says:

    Were you ever able to purchase the sheep poster? I would so appreciate knowing where to order it. Many thanks.

  5. David O'Brien says:

    I too would like to know where I can buy the ‘Excusez-Moi Sheep’ poster. Can anyone help me?

  6. Nick says:

    I used to have this poster. I bought it in a French bookstore in Toronto 25 years ago. One thing though, the single sheep was not black. He was the same as all the others. I guess it’s natural to assume only a black sheep would go against the flow. Not so. Here’s a pic of the actual poster. A bit too small to read the text unfortunately. http://farm1.static.flickr.com/39/114315398_02550029b3.jpg

  7. Ingrid says:

    Thank you all and especially Nick .. I had this poster some 30 years ago, also bought in a French bookstore in Toronto … I gave it to someone a few years ago who in turn passed it on … wonderful connections … touches something special in me

    thanks for the journey everyone …. Ingrid

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