Tag Archives: godin

the curse of authority

why do some people who have the power to effect change eschew the opportunity?  it seems to me that some would consider the ability to make decisions that matter some sort of burden that they fear exercising.  i realize that it is infinitely easier fall in step, not make waves, etc.  i’m sure it’s me.  when i recognize that one path is easy and other not-so-much i usually consider the not-so-much option a bit more because there is probably a reason why things are easy.  seth godin talks about the lizard brain lots in his book linchpin which became a quick favorite of mine.  godin talks about how it is so easy to allow fear to guide our decision making and i think i would add complacency to that as well.  it’s just so easy to take a path that doesn’t allow for resistance that so many folks do.  after all, why go through the hassle of something that might be more trouble?  if the risk/reward ratio is out of whack, why bother?  perhaps the pull to play it safe is like some sort of magnetic pole, while some can’t stand to go the safe route (sometimes to their detriment), others find that no other path than the safe one suits them.  maybe what bothers me is that those who have the power to effect some sort of change and choose not to don’t understand the perspective of those who lack that authority.  in some ways, people with change-authority may have been in a role for so long that they no longer can see the view from the other side of the table.  the irony here is that i don’t covet that authority, i simply expect those who wear that hat to use it wisely.

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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in cube life


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seven days > day 1

stephanie over at change agency is running a mini-course to help bloggers of all experiences during 7 days to a better blog.  i’ve gone ahead and started with the group and today was about design, which is something i think a lot about.  seth godin calls what we do art and the artistry of blog design says a ton about the writer.  don’t give me some line about books and covers, because when someone stumbles across your blog you better believe your cover is the first thing that is going to invite them to stay or keep clicking by.  good to see design is attended to, but it was more on the functionality side of things.  i changed my template (it was time) and need to look at using more tabs/pages.

stephanie posed an interesting question about who we believe our audience is, i’m not sure if i covered this before so i’ll be brief.  i don’t care who reads my blog and i’m not trying to get anyone to read my blog.  my updates post on my twitter feed, but i don’t care if anyone follows me there either.  i blog because i think it’s useful to reflect and i really believe that we are all better people when we have a place to write down what we are thinking.  i would like to blog more often, but life gets in the way as it tends to do with all of us.  having said all that, i write as if anyone is going to read my blog, and i have had a few surprise readers.  i write with the belief that if the person i work for, the people i interact with, and the people i’m writing about are going to read it the second i hit submit.  does that count as a description of my audience?

please don’t mistake my “i don’t care” as some sort of anger or hidden message…it really means that i couldn’t care less.  try it, it’s liberating.  i’m not participating in this mini course in an effort to really have a better blog, i’m hoping to think about my blog in ways that i haven’t, and in turn think about what i’m writing.  no disappointment on day 1.

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Posted by on July 19, 2010 in cube life


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the heath bros. know resistance as well

i blogged a while back about seth godin’s linchpin and several of the ideas that hit home with me.  it’s his best work and the book really resonated with me.  i’m now reading switch by dan and chip heath and the idea of resistance has come up again, and it’s looked at in the same way.  in the same way that godin talks about resistance as a force that disables thrashing or shipping, the heaths see it, too, as an obstacle to overcome but this time in the context of change.  clarity dissolves resistance, so simple and so true.  this line comes after a piece about scripting moves to stay the course during times of change, but it works in the context of linchpin as well.  when the resistance is in the form of someone, often clarity will be able to disarm them.  to continue the author mashup even futher, lencioni uses fable to drive home very simple points that often/always end in some sort of success.  perhaps what lencioni is doing is offering a bit of clarity to a situation, thus making the solution seem almost intuitive where at one point it was completely hidden.  a friend of mine questioned my reading choices a while back, i suppose it would appear that my reading for pleasure could easily be misconstrued as reading for work.  i’m not sure if they are right or not.  if i were still in the classroom would these books appeal to me?  it saddens me to think that i wouldn’t read/enjoy them if i hadn’t left the classroom but that may be the case.  i like books that make me think.  i’ve had a terrific run of books and authors that seem to connect with me and with each other and speak strongly to the work i do and the work that i might someday want to do.

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Posted by on March 1, 2010 in Uncategorized


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my most recent inspiration

i believe i mentioned earlier that i have a habit of listening to podcasts for my easy run during the middle of the week.  i heard a great one from accidental creative where they interviewed seth godin on his book linchpin.  i’m a big fan of godin and the accidental creative podcast so this was looking good.  among the many messages seth talked about was the idea of blogging and the voice of resistance.  so, without going into exactly what was said, as you can access the podcast yourself were you so inclined, i will say that i am going to make a better effort to blog what i’m thinking about.  i don’t aspire to be a prolific blogger, but i do let some of my ideas go without hashing/thrashing them out.  so i’m going with it and am going to see where it takes me this week.  a nice little experiment.

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Posted by on February 8, 2010 in Uncategorized


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upon not having ‘friends’

a bit of history about seth godin and myself, although i’m sure it sounds like i am going to launch into a story about how i met him nothing could be further from the truth.  he is the author of a book that i am incapable of finishing, but continue to read.  perhaps it’s the format, but i’ve blogged about his book ‘tribes’ before.  i added his blog to my google reader a while back and then removed it after i found reading it was unremarkable and somewhat generic.  not sure why, but i added his blog again and his recent posts have been nothing short of genius.  i have found his observations over the past 2 weeks spot on, his post from this week being no exception.  godin delineates the difference between ‘friends’ and ‘friendlies’, which is a necessary line to draw given the number to tech tools that we accept others as ‘friends’.  i remember having a few dilemmas regarding clicking the accept button on a few people that i was reluctant grant the status of ‘friend’.  i got over it, but in doing so (upon reflection) i feel i have diminished the term from the status which it once held in my mind.  furthermore, on a site like facebook i have friends who can view all of me, my entire profile and then others who i limit in some way and have control of what parts me they have access to which seems wrong in someways.  perhaps it is my failing that i held the term ‘friend’ in such high regard, after all i speak to people all the time that enjoy exaggerating their relationships with others in an effort to project a closeness that may not exist to…what?  seem more important?  gain status my close association?  so i guess its time to look for other terms, to define my relationships with those around me using terms and phrases other than ‘friend’ because the cyberworld has taken that one from me.

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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Uncategorized


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one of my new least favorite words

have you ever seen the commercial where a few people in suits are handing out buzzword bingo cards before a meeting? education is no different, professional development specifically. i was reading seth godin’s blog today and he talks about one that i have noticed is getting lots of play and we may have the government to thank. transparency. godin talks about how wise it is to be transparent as a rule, he says…

Radical transparency often excites people because of the radical part (it’s new! it’s scary!) than the transparent part. Playing poker with your cards face up on the table might get you some attention at first, but in the long run it’s unlikely to help you win a lot of hands.

interesting stuff.  if nothing else, perhaps we can move on to another word, something totally different.  maybe translucent 🙂

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Posted by on June 25, 2009 in Uncategorized


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off site

having now been to my first ‘end of the year’ off site meeting with my team i have a few opportunities unique to me.  in lencioni’s death by meeting the focus ends up being on the different types of meetings, off sites being one of them, and i feel like i can now have a greater understanding of what those meetings could/should be about.  if i had to characterize ours, i would have to say that innovation seemed to be the thread that ran throughout the two days.  several ideas were thrown around, but one in particular resonated with a passage in ‘tribes’ by seth godin, that i came across just the other night. (yes, i’m STILL reading it)

odds are that growth and success are now inextricably linked to breaking the old rules and setting your organization’s new rules loose in an industry too afraid of change

there are lots about this quote that give me pause, and i’ll start from the end.  is education an industry afraid of change?  let’s call that rhetorical on many fronts.  the beginning presupposes that the only way to grow and succeed in today’s world is the break rules that don’t seem to work.  is it?  that’s the only way?  inextricably, i like that word, but not in this context.  or maybe i do.  we can’t avoid the confrontation, at this point, of new solutions to new problems in a climate that doesn’t encourage that type of innovation that may just solves many of our woes.  it certainly makes it seem dire!

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Posted by on May 31, 2009 in Uncategorized


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