Seth Godin - Are You Thinking Backwards?

May 27, 2013 -

Are You Looking at Everything Backwards?

Seth Godin has written fourteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller including "The Icarus Deception". He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.

American Way Magazine calls him, "America's Greatest Marketer," and his blog is perhaps the most popular in the world written by a single individual. His latest book, We Are All Weird, calls for end of mass and for the beginning of offering people more choices, more interests and giving them more authority to operate in ways that reflect their own unique values, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

Here are some key takeaways from his most recent speech at this month's CreativeMornings.

Myth: Great Designers have Great Clients 

It is the other way around. Having great clients makes you a great designer. Great designers would not be great designers without their clients. Find clients that provide you with the platform for you to become a great designer.

Ask yourself - How much of your day is spent working to get better clients versus pleasing the clients you already got? Is pleasing the clients the best way to get better clients? Is a better client that pays your more? OR as mentioned above, is finding the client that provides you with the platform for you to become a great designer what you should be looking for?

Myth: Success is Overnight

People got to where they are by being impatiently patient. What does that mean? It means that Twitter would not still be around if the founders quit after two weeks. Companies would not be built if founders said that if it doesn't work in two weeks we should go do something else. Basically what he is saying is that it takes perseverance to succeed and just as Rome wasn't built in a day.

Myth: It Would Be Nice to Do That, But My Boss Won't Let Me

If you ask your boss if you could do something new or different, of course she won't let you because basically you are saying I want to do something really cool. If it works, I get all the credit and if it doesn't you get all the blame because you said it was okay. The secret is leading the people to make better decisions. Lead your boss to make better decisions. 

Here are four actionable items right now. 

1) Do it on purpose -  With purpose ask yourself, how am I leading my clients to become better clients thereby finding more clients? How am I leaving tracks that will get my boss to become a better boss? Lead your boss to make better decisions.

2) Tell stories that resonates to those in charge - You can't prove anything to the people you work for to get them to do something, but you can tell them a story that gets under their skin that resonates.

3) Demand responsibility, don't worry about authority - People who take responsibility are often given responsibility. If you are willing to let other people to pretend to have authority it's fine. You don't need a badge. Let your work speak for itself.

4) Reflect credit - If there is something wrong embrace blame. If there is something the boss wants to take credit for, let them take it. They will be more eager to work with you. Do small things that won't get you fired. If you do it 4 times or 6 times and they get credit for the small thing, they will let you do that small thing again. Then they may ask you to do it even bigger. It is the work you are after not the credit.

If  you want to make a change do it for people who deserve it. If Exxon doesn't get it, call on someone else.

Ask yourself:

a) How do you want your customers to change?
b) What change do you want to make in people you work with?

The change Apple wants to make is to make customers with good taste. If customers have good taste they are more likely to buy more products.

Everyone owns a media company. If you want to put on an event and have 500 people come you can. If you want to write a blog post and have a million people read it you can. 

You job isn't to make someone for everyone. Most popular drink is "other". 

Just do work that changes some people.

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