Seth Godin – A Simple Antidote

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Care more than you need to, more often than expected, more completely than the other guy.

No one reports liking Steve Jobs very much, yet he was as embraced as any businessperson since Walt Disney. Because he cared. He cared deeply about what he was making and how it would be used. Of course, he didn’t just care in a general, amorphous, whiny way, he cared and then actually delivered.

Politicians are held in astonishingly low esteem. Congress in particular is setting record lows, but it’s an endemic problem. The reason? They consistently act as if they don’t care. They don’t care about their peers, certainly, and by their actions, apparently, they don’t care about us. Money first.

Many salespeople face a similar problem–perhaps because for years they’ve used a shallow version of caring as a marketing technique to boost their commissions. One report by the National Association of Realtors found that more than 90% of all homeowners are never again contacted by their real estate agent after the contracts for the home are signed. Why bother… there’s no money in it, just the possibility of complaints. Well, the reason is obvious–you’d come by with cookies and intros to the neighbors if you cared.

Economists tell us that the reason to care is that it increases customer retention, profitability and brand value. For me, though, that’s beside the point (and even counter to the real goal). Caring gives you a compass, a direction to head and most of all, a reason to do the work you do in the first place.

Care More.

It’s only two words, but it’s hard to think of a better mantra for the organization that is smart enough to understand the core underpinning of their business, as well as one in search of a reason for being. No need to get all tied up in subcycles of this leads to this which leads to that so therefore I care… Instead, there’s the opportunity to follow the direct and difficult road of someone who truly cares about what’s being made and who it is for.

Seth Godin – People Strategy

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Hard to imagine a consultant or investor asking the CMO, “so, what’s your telephone strategy?”

We don’t have a telephone strategy. The telephone is a tool, a simple medium, and it’s only purpose is to connect us to interested human beings.

And then the internet comes along and it’s mysterious and suddenly we need an email strategy and a social media strategy and a web strategy and a mobile strategy.

No, we don’t.

It’s still people. We still have one and only one thing that matters, and it’s people.

All of these media are conduits, they are tools that human beings use to waste time or communicate or calculate or engage or learn. Behind each of the tools is a person. Do you have a story to tell that person? An engagement or a benefit to offer them?

Figure out the people part and the technology gets a whole lot simpler.

Seth Godin – Making a Ruckus

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Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response

Change pricing dramatically

Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa)

Organize the disorganized, connect the disconnected

Alter the speed to market radically

Change the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information

Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else

Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses

Take the lead on ethics

(Or you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)

Seth Godin – Check Planning

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If you’re going to build a $10 million skyscraper, by all means, plan and prototype and discuss and plan some more.

On the other hand, if the cost of finding out is a phone call, make the call. No need to spend a lot of time planning how to call or when to call or which phone to use when execution is fast and cheap.

The digital revolution has, as in so many other areas, flipped the equation here. The cost of building digital items is plummeting, but our habit is to plan anyway (because failure bothers us, and we focus on the feeling of failure, not the cost).

The goal should be to have the minimum number of meetings and scenarios and documentation necessary to maximize the value of execution. As it gets faster and easier to actually build the thing, go ahead and make sure the planning (or lack of it) keeps pace.

Hugh MacLeod — Phone Call

“They say talk is cheap, but based on usage, most folks must think texting is cheaper…

Truth is we live in a world dominated by mobile phones – there are actually more phones than there are people in the U.S. – yet we barely speak to each other anymore.

Our phones have become everything but a device to speak into (unless you’re one of the iPhoners who talk to Siri).

Phone or no phone, we should talk more, don’t you think?”

What more can I say – Genius.

Hugh MacLeod – Be Spontaneous

“Spontaneity is one of life’s great joys. It is a way of breaking out of a daily routine that can seem like drudgery.

It is a way of being playful, bringing joy and embracing possibility. It is one of the gifts that free will offers.

Try it today. Turn right on the way home, instead of left. Do something, anything, that you haven’t tried before.

See how a little thing can make a big difference to your quality of life.
Some people have turned complaining into a science. We see that some cultures have a greater propensity to complain. Coffee’s too hot, food’s too cold, boss is a jerk, Starbucks double half caf mocha frapaccino wasn’t quite frappy enough?

We all know people who do it. It validates. It lets people vent, but is it the right thing to do? In my experience, complainers are generally hard to be around. Their complaints usually fill the narrative gaps of what they feel are flaws in their own lives.

After all, why be successful when you can sit around and complain about everyone else who is?”

100 thousand million percent agree.

Rock on!