Last Friday I had the opportunity to hear Seth Godin speak about his new book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (affiliate link). To some extent yesterday’s post about proper perspective was motivated by hearing what Seth had to say. So, without further ado, here is what I thought of Seth’s presentation:
How the Current Situation Is Broken
Since so many people have the “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, Seth began by pointing out why he thinks the system is broken. He points out that ever since Henry Ford perfected the factory, virtually every industry has converted to the factory method of production. The factory requires that both parts and people be totally interchangeable as well as a giant fear. You fear getting fired (since you’re totally replaceable) and therefore you blend in. Do what you’re told. However, this just makes you even more forgettable, ignorable and replaceable. A bad situation indeed.
He also asked if the following statement describes your job: Show up on time and do what you’re told. If that describes your job, you’d better start looking for a new one because there will always be someone willing to show up and do what they’re told for less money than you!
How To Fix It
First, you have to recognize the “lizard brain” as Seth terms it. This part of your brain is driven by fear and is intended to keep you alive out in the wild. However, it also is a large hurdle to success because it loves to be busy and avoids risk. Once you recognize the lizard brain’s voice, you should do the exact opposite. It says to just be busy, you slow down and think strategically. It says to wait on that big move, you go for it. Get it?
Second, you need to become an artist. Not in the painter, musician, Bohemian sort of way we use the word, but in the sense that you create, invent and give. You give gifts without expectations of reciprocity. You’re not afraid of getting a D, because you know that you’ll have many Ds before you make that masterpiece.
Lastly, today’s economy will reward the individuals who are able to choose the right course of action when hundreds of directions are possible. You can’t simply choose a good direction, you need to choose the best direction.
Quote of the Presentation
“Anxiety is the experience of failure in advance.”
If you were there I’d love to hear your takeaways in the comments. If you weren’t there, what is your favorite Seth Godin quote?