Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Seth Godin

What of dividing up a pie? The alternative ways to share a pie

On pie

“This is all the pie I received, but that’s okay.”

“I have a small piece of pie, but others have an even smaller piece, so I’m sharing mine.”

“I want all the pie.”

“I don’t want all the pie, just your piece.”

“The pie isn’t big enough for all of us, I’m going to work to make it bigger.”

“I have the biggest piece of pie, want to see?”

“I have the biggest piece of pie, but that’s not enough, so I’m going to work hard to take some of yours.”

“If I can’t have a big enough piece of pie, I’m going to put my fist through the entire thing and no one gets any pie.”

“If I delay gratification and wait a bit, my piece of pie will be bigger.”

“Bob has a bigger piece of pie than I do, so I’m going to go deep into debt so I can buy more pie.”

“If we eat less pie now and invest it, we can have more pie later.”

“The only fair thing to do is give everyone an equally sized piece of pie.”

“I can’t possibly eat all the pie I’ve got, but I refuse on principle to share the rest.”

“Apple? I hate apple. Why can’t we have blueberry?”

“I’m able to skirt the rules and end up with two pieces of pie when everyone is only supposed to get one.”

“No matter how much pie there is, it’s not enough, and we should risk the pie to make more pie.”

“Whoever is responsible for allocating pie is a crook, destroy the pie allocators!”

“More pie now is way better than the promise of some pie later.”

“Pie? I don’t eat pie.”

How to refresh the listener’s emotions?

Is ignorance the problem?

It’s nice to think that the reason that people don’t do what you need them to do, or conform to your standards, or make good choices is simply that they don’t know enough.

After all, if that’s the case, all you’ll need to do is inform them, loudly and clearly.

So, that employee who shows up late: just let her know that being late isn’t allowed. Threaten to fire her. That’ll do it.

The thing is, ignorance is rarely the problem. (Are we talking about work environment? Technical matters?)

The challenge is that people don’t always care about what you care about.

And the reason they don’t care isn’t that they don’t know what you know.

The reason is that they don’t believe what you believe.

The challenge, then, isn’t to inform them. It’s to engage and teach and communicate in a way that shares emotion and values and beliefs.

 

The thing you can’t have becomes a powerful placebo

New MQA music format?

The efficacy of a technology, a shortcut, a medicine, a tool, a method—you get the idea—is directly related to how difficult it is to obtain.

Placebos work because our brain picks up where our belief begins.

Without some sort of conscious or subconscious trigger, the placebo effect never kicks in.

But when it does, it’s astonishingly effective. Placebos change performance, cure diseases and make food taste better.

Consider the case of the new music format, MQA.

The overdue successor to the MP3 files we’ve been listening to for a decade or more, MQA treats your music with more care, and the reports are it sounds better. A lot better.

Of course, most people can’t hear the difference in a double-blind test, particularly with disposable earbuds.

But that’s okay, because no one is double blind in real life. Instead, we have information about what we’re listening to and where it came from, and it turns out that knowing the provenance of your music can actually make it sound better.

The fact that MQA might actually sound better is a fine thing, but the lesson here is about the story.

The MQA rollout has been agonizingly slow, with dates promised and then missed, with absent bits of gear, with no easy way to get this new technology. Which makes it even better, of course.

The same is true for baked goods that sell out every morning at 8 am, and the new beta-version of an app that makes you more productive.

If you want your medicine to be more effective, consider making it difficult to get.

[PS I’ll be doing a Facebook Live Q&A about the altMBA. See you at 2 pm ET today, Thursday.]

What’s on tonight?

Have you done your due diligence?

The next thing you read, the next thing you watch–how did you decide that it was next?

Just a few decades ago, there were only three TV channels to watch.

Worse, it was pretty common for people to continue watching the same channel all night, rather than checking out the two alternatives. The 8 pm lead in was critical.

TV Guide, at one point the most valuable magazine in the United States, changed that posture. The entire magazine was devoted to answering just one question: What’s on right now?

It turned consumption into a bit more of an intentional act. I mean, people were still hiding out, glued to their TVs, but at least they were actively choosing which thing to watch.

The internet, of course, multiplies the number of choices by infinity.

And our screen time has only gone up.

But here’s the question: The next thing you read, the next thing you watch–how did you decide that it was next?

Was it because it was the nearest click that was handy?

Or are you intentional about what you’re learning, or connecting with, or the entertainment you’re investing in?

We don’t have a lot of time. It seems to me that being intentional about how we spend our precious attention is the least we can do for it.

Kicking and screaming (vs. singing and dancing)

Unfair things do happen.

You might be diagnosed with a disease, demoted for a mistake you didn’t make, convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.

The ref might make a bad call, an agreement might be abrogated, a partner might let you down.

Our instinct is to fight these unfairnesses, to succumb if there’s no choice, but to go down kicking and screaming.

We want to make it clear that we won’t accept injustice easily, we want to teach the system a lesson, we want them to know that we’re not a pushover.

But will it change the situation?

Will the diagnosis be changed, the outcome of the call be any different?

What if, instead, we went at it singing and dancing?

What if we walked into our four-year prison sentence determined to learn more, do more and contribute more than anyone had ever dreamed?

What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?

This is incredibly difficult work, but it seems far better than the alternative.

The Bad B’s of Leadership

The letter B

Bad leadership feels safe like baggy jeans and broken-in sneakers.

Bad leadership has a baffling capacity to walk comfortable paths while the world changes.

Bold leadership, on the other hand, feels dangerous like learning to walk.

Bold leadership feels like almost falling.

The difference between safe and dangerous, bad and bold is:

  1. Declaring hopes. Unshared dreams don’t happen. If you want to get somewhere, tell someone where you’re going.
  2. Forgiving.
  3. Stepping out so someone can step in.
  4. Expecting more from yourself and others.
  5. Trying something untried.
  6. Developing untested skills.
  7. Admitting failure publicly.
  8. Trusting someone new.
  9. Accepting new challenges.
  10. Asking when in doubt.

No wonder there are so many bad leaders. Bad is benign.

Bold leaders step out with UNcertainty.

Bold leaders step toward the edge. Brash leaders mock the edge. Bad leaders are so far from the edge they can’t see it.

From bad to be bold:

  1. Let reluctance show you who you are. What’s in you that blocks your future.
  2. Reject notions of feeling competent. They’re overrated. You aren’t reaching high enough if you make it the first time.
  3. Make growth personal. Tie new skills and challenges to character. How does facing fear, for example, help you become who you want to be? What new character-muscles create your future.
  4. Imagine the new you before she emerges. Describe who you are on the other side of uncertainty.
  5. Rely on trusted advisers, mentors, and coaches.
  6. Continue moving forward – don’t fix failures – leave them behind. Think next time all the time.
  7. Role play in safe environments. Test your wings before leaving the nest.

What can you do that feels like you’re almost falling?

More bad “B” words for leaders:

  1. Belittle.
  2. Beguile.
  3. Baby.
  4. Biased.
  5. Baggage.
  6. Boring. (By the way, anyone interested in me isn’t boring!)
  7. Backstabbing.
  8. Bragging.
  9. Brownnoser.
  10. Bottleneck.

For a longer list of important “B’s” for leaders visit the Leadership Freak Facebook page (7/2/2013).

What good or bad B’s for leaders can you suggest?

Add important leadership words that begin with “C” onFacebook for tomorrow’s post.

Cost reduce or value increase?

Organizations that want to increase their metrics either invest in:

Creating more value for their customers, or

Doing just enough to keep going, but for less effort and money.

During their first decade, the core group at Amazon regularly amazed customers by investing in work that created more value. When you do that, people talk, the word spreads, growth happens.

Inevitably, particularly for public companies, it becomes easier to focus on keeping what you’ve got going, but cheaper.

You may have noticed, for example, that their once legendary customer service hardly seems the same, with 6 or 7 interactions required to get an accurate and useful response.

This happens to organizations regardless of size or stature. It’s a form of entropy.

Unless you’re vigilant, the apparently easy path of cost reduction will distract you from the important work of value creation.

The key question to ask in the meeting is: Are we increasing value or lowering costs?

Race to the top or race to the bottom, it’s a choice.

Fear the fear, feel the fear

Most of the things we avoid are avoided because we’re afraid of being afraid.

Too meta?

Sorry, but it’s true. The negative outcomes that could actually occur due to speaking up in class, caring about our work product, interacting with the boss–there’s not a lot of measurable risk.

But the fear can be debilitating, or at the very least, distasteful. So it’s easier to just avoid it altogether.

On the other hand, artists and leaders seek out that feeling. They push themselves to the edge, to the place where the fear lives. By feeling it, by exposing themselves to the resistance, they become more alive and do work that they’re most proud of.

The fear doesn’t care, either way. The choice is to spend our time avoiding that fear or embracing it.

Posted by Seth Godin on November 01, 2013


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