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Posts Tagged ‘Triiibes’

More than a week since Seth Godin’s latest book “We Are All Weird” came out, and I still can’t get myself to buy or read it. It’s been reduced to $ 2.99 on Amazon (e-book version) so not even price is an excuse. If you know me, that’s weird! I’ve been an admirer of Seth’s work for many years, I am a first generation member of his online club “Triiibes”, and his work has greatly inspired and helped both my business and the way I look at this world in general. So what happened?

Ever since “Linchpin”, a monumental turning point in Seth’s focus, he has carpet-bombed the world with more of the same: the “Domino Project” illuminating every aspect of his topic, workbooks, e-books, “Graceful” – a book that blew by me unnoticed – and now “We are all Weird”.

My issue with all this is: Linchpins have always existed, they aren’t Seth’s or anybody else’s invention, and repeating the message over and over again won’t change a thing: being special cannot be learned. If you don’t have the virus already you won’t even know about these books. It’s in you or it isn’t. It is a combination of character, pain level and a spark. You don’t need another book to bring out the Linchpin you already are. And that’s all that needs to be said about it.

My final turnoff was Seth’s blog advertising the new book: I kept on reading his synopsis waiting for ANYTHING new, a new angle, a new topic, a new idea. But: nada, it read like a summary of “Linchpin” followed by raving reviews written by some of my fellow Triiibes-folks (in other words: his most loyal fans). Adding those reviews sunk the whole blog from a level of “personal, heartfelt and urgent” straight to the bottom of “buy my book” advertising. All of his own lessons forgotten?

I continue to admire Seth for his earlier work, and for his always brilliant and creative mind, but he has lost me on his current path. The world didn’t stop turning two years ago, important transformations are taking place and I am waiting for the day when Seth will emerge from fighting his demon to contribute thoughts and inspiration to the things that really matter right now.

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Linchpin cover I am grateful for the opportunity to review an advance copy of “Linchpin” by Seth Godin, marketing visionary and bestselling author of books like “Permission Marketing”, “Purple Cow” and “Tribes”.

At first glance, Seth Godin’s new book “Linchpin” is one for the self-improvement section rather than the marketing shelf. But then, marketing is all about interaction, communication and relationships. Each of Seth’s books is about the essence of marketing AND people at the same time, two things that are inseparable. This one just zooms in a lot more on you, the reader.

Written in bite size chapters like all of his more recent books it is easy to read, although the weight of Seth’s words suggests that you spend more time on each chapter than with the previous ones. This particular style of writing is common to quite a few authors these days, Americans in particular, and I am not a big fan of it, especially as the key phrases of the book are being repeated quite often, mantra style.

Just ignore it and you will discover a work of art that is an impressive humanitarian statement as well, a book containing much of Seth’s personal life experience, a book that comes across as very authentic and honest. I have the privilege of knowing Seth and experienced first hand that the generosity he describes as a key factor of life in “Linchpin” is part of his own nature as well. Seth is not only giving examples of his (and other people’s) success stories, he openly talks about his defeats, too. Examples of “art” are ranging from Richard Branson to a man few people know who is serving coffee at a restaurant, both of which are equally relevant.

You should further ignore scientific inaccuracies concerning the reptilian (“lizard”) brain which Seth urges us to switch off as it fights our efforts to move forward and leave the comfort zones of our lives. I am not a scientist either but this part of our brain is there for a reason; it warns us of danger and triggers basic decisions such as “run” or “fight” subconsciously. I don’t think we can afford to live without these instincts and would prefer a concept in which we acknowledge and respect our reptilian brain and seek balance with it, knowing when to listen and when to overrule it. This doesn’t take away from the book’s message, though: Seth is more generally speaking of the “Resistance” as the phenomenon in our heads we need to fight, and I can go with that perfectly well.

The word “happiness” is not in the book per se but that’s what it is all about. Its vision of our future is an optimistic one, it does actually give you the tools to become a happy person but it also holds you accountable for creating the roadmap to your individual happiness by yourself – there is no other way, and I am sure he is right. The beauty also lies in the prospect of receiving kindness and gifts from other people including businesses and companies of all sizes who will benefit from having Linchpins like you as employees, or fade into mediocrity. Uninspired companies make average products, commodities, which customers buy at the lowest price, forcing companies to cut cost and become even more average. Rather than pushing a rock uphill, there is a fascinating way for each of us to start from the top of the mountain, like an avalanche gaining momentum with every step.

“Linchpin” will be available in everywhere on January 26, 2009.

ISBN 978-1-59184-316-0

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