Why Should I Read | Tribes

For those of you that don’t know Seth Godin, go type “seth” into any search engine, and he’s the first result.

But, for anyone who has been even remotely connected with the marketing world of the twenty-first century, the name Seth Godin is probably not new.

The concept of “Tribes” in the current era has also made it’s way through the cycle of introduction, fads, and then, rather than fading away, it is now part of the lexicon of business jargon.

The book, written in 2008, makes sweeping declarations about the opportunity available for individuals to lead a tribe. Some people criticize the book for making these generalizations as it seems they would like more of a textbook approach to leadership.

Seth Godin, rather than responding to his critics, makes it a point of his to define leadership as those people who are willing “to do things that might not work.”

This is at the core of the book Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us. The idea is that a tribe leader doesn’t create the tribe, she merely provides a way for those with shared interest to communicate and coalesce.

While I totally disagree with Godin on certain worldview issues, I believe he has one of the best minds on building trust and attention in the marketplace of ideas. At the end of this article there will be a couple links to some long-form interviews with Seth Godin. If you are at all interested in building a group of people or an audience, you owe it to yourself to pay attention to what this man has to say.

In this week’s video, we talk generally about assumptions and specifically about “Sheepwalking.” The book, and the article just linked, defines “Sheepwalking” as: “the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a braindead job and enough fear to keep them in line.”

Enough fear to keep them in line.

Ever thought you’d like to try something great at work but didn’t because you might get in trouble?

Ever thought about starting a blog to share your ideas but didn’t?

Ever wanted to start your own business but decided it was too risky?

Our culture, and our education systems are designed to churn out individuals who can work a job optimized for the industrial age. The problem is that we ceased to live in that age back in the early 90s.

As I was writing this article and trolling through Seth’s blog & Google results (If you’re not subscribed, try it! It will make you think every day), I found this video from him given to a group of kids at a TEDxYouth event. I am going to go watch it, and I’d encourage you to as well.

Think about your ambitions. Go lead a Tribe. Don’t be held back by the fears supplanted into your mind on top of your dreams.

Interviews with Seth Godin:

With Tim Ferriss: http://fourhourworkweek.com/2016/02/10/seth-godin/ (Long but AMAZING)

With Chase Jarvis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xMxAZhgVvU 

With Gary Vaynerchuk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D65-9sz7V0g (Shorter than the others, Gary probably swears 😉 )

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WSIR 008 | The Speed of Trust

“Fish discover water last” -Stephen M.R. Covey

Because fish are immersed, surrounded, and in constant contact with water, their perception is fundamentally changed. Covey says that humans have the same experience, but that trust is so much a part of civilization that we rarely realize it.

However, we are at a trust crisis, with each passing day illustrating our departure from basic trust in one another or the institutions of our society. It doesn’t take much thought to remember the latest juicy scandal that further reminds us that we can’t trust our leaders.

While we definitely have some bad apples in our society, this deficit of trust does nothing but damage our productivity and creativity as a civilization.

Besides being one of the most widely read books by CEOs, The Speed of Trust puts an equation forward that applies to all interactions. Here is the equation:

When Trust is High, speed is High and cost is Low.

When Trust is Low, speed is Low and cost is High.

Covey goes so far as to categorize these situations in specific economic terms, and I would refer you to the book if you are interested in how building the competency of trust can impact your organization. For the remainder of this post we will examine the central origin of trust from others: whether or not one is worthy of trust.

So now that we are aware of trust, and that it has the potential to bring concrete economic and relational results, where can we start?

Covey argues that trust acts in the same manner as a ripple on water after a drop has fallen. Each wave radiating outwards based on the action of the one before that. His five waves are as follows. Self Trust (1) leads to competence and inspires Relationship Trust (2) which permeates an organization and brings Organizational Trust(3). When Organizational Trust is apparent organizations can work together to achieve Market Trust (4). When all these are present, then Societal Trust (5) is the result.

If this ripple analogy holds true, a failure at higher levels of trust is the result of lack of trust at a more central level.

So let’s talk Self Trust.

Self trust comes from four cores, two of which have to do with Character and two of which have to do with Competence.

Again, I highly recommend you either pick up the book, The Speed of Trust, or go grab the audio presentation from Stephen M.R. Covey on audiobook to fully grasp the content because it is broad and extremely applicable.

As promised in this week’s video, we jump into the core of credibility, and the first of three behaviors to build credibility, making and keeping commitments to oneself.

If you are like me, it is easier to hit snooze in the morning, it is easier not to pick up the book you are meaning to read, or it’s easier to put off making that call. Now, there is nothing wrong with the snooze button, or not reading, or choosing to make a call at a later date. The problem comes when we told ourselves we were going to do something and then we wimped out on ourselves.

The failure to follow through on self commitments does nothing but tear down self trust and hurts our ability to experience trust at higher levels.

So what’s next? Covey says by practicing three habits in the context of self commitments we can increase our successes in this area.

His three habits are these

  1. Don’t make too many commitments.
  2. Self commitment merit the same importance as commitments to others.
  3. Don’t make impulsive commitments.

Remember, a true commitment is not a preference. Commitment comes with synonyms like obligation, responsibility, duty, or dedication. If it is a true commitment, it cannot be taken lightly. If so, it may not have been a true commitment.

  1. If we causally commit to activities without fully understanding the work involved, we are liable to be frustrated later on when we realize what is really going on.

2. Back to hitting snooze, the reason so many people have workout partners is that as humans we are far more likely to follow through if we know someone else is involved. If we can learn to treat self commitments that no one else on earth will ever know about in the same way we treat public commitments we are significantly far down the path to self trust.

3. Some personalities have more of a problem with this than others, but it can be easy, in a moment of inspiration or passion to declare, “I’ll run 5 miles every day for the rest of the year!” or “Today’s the day I’m quitting everything but water for the rest of the year!” If you truly have self trust, you have no choice but to follow through on these public commitments. So be careful what you commit to.

Some of this may be new to you, but remember, if fish really do discover water last, but are truly hurting for it when it is gone, the realization that trust does the same thing for humans should be a breath of fresh… water… That analogy breaks down 🙂

fish photo

Anyway, check out this week’s video, I almost was attacked by geese while filming. Leave a comment with a commitment you are proud you followed through on!

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WSIR 007 | The Slight Edge

How many of you honestly believe that in the next twenty four hours you could do something that would have a drastically negative effect on your life?

How many of you honestly believe that in the next twenty four hours you could do something that would have an immensely positive effect on your life?

Likely you believe that each of these things are possible but that these two paths of action are quite different.


 

What if they were nearly identical?


In this week’s video I quote from page 41 Jeff Olson’s book, The Slight Edge, 

“The difference between success and failure is not dramatic. In fact, the difference between success and failure is so subtle, most people miss it.”

The Slight Edge presents a philosophy of our actions, one that affects the choices that you and I make over the course of our lives.

This philosophy is based on the principle of compounding, the idea that one thing builds upon another and adds up over time to a logical conclusion.

Before we get into the body of this post, a story.

I hate weeding.

weed photo

I should probably frame my experiences differently in my mind but at this point in my journey of life I haven’t achieved that yet. I grew up on a farm and while the sheep were fluffy and the fruit tasted good, I could not stand being dirty, sweaty, and bending over for hours on end to pull tiny sprouts out of the dirt. One summer sticks in my mind because we had a new 4 acre field of strawberries and they all needed to be weeded. For those of you who don’t know what 4 acres look like, imagine a field that you have a hard time hearing someone on the other side who is yelling and you’re pretty close.

So myself and the other workers that summer were busy in the field from roughly 8am til 12pm 6 days a week and then we got to work on less offensive projects. During that year the worst weed was Nut Grass. I also hate Nut Grass. My description of this plant wont be written on this blog because children could read it. Anyway, as we weeded I can remember doing enough to make the field look great, but it wasn’t 100% clear. Generally there were a few small weeds left, or roots not fully unearthed and those would spring back like, well, weeds. Several weeks later, by the time we had made our way across the yell-distance field, those first small weeds had grown back and multiplied and we had to start over.

My point with this story is that had we put in that last 5-10% effort to demolish the weeds, we wouldn’t have had to weed the field multiple times. That final 5% was the difference between a summer filled with 4 hour spinal stress sessions and one that still included weeding, but only half as much.

 

That is the Slight Edge.


A cursory search of “Compound interest retirement saving” got me Business Insider article. Check it out if you want a reminder to be consistent in the things that you do, or if you like graphs and charts.

The slight edge not only applies to finances but to areas as diverse as health, relationships, skill sets, and thought patterns. It can be summed up in the following image, thanks to attackstylewrestling.com for hosting the image online and demonstrating that it also applies to wrestling!

Your daily actions matter.

They do.


So what does this mean for our original idea that our actions tomorrow on the success path or our actions tomorrow on the failure path look quite similar?

Simply put, the right actions to take are easy to do, but they are also easy not to do.

Brushing your teeth. Easy.

Buckling your seatbelt. Easy.

Writing down 3 things you’re thankful for each day. Easy.

Pulling 38 more weeds in the midst of 3200. Easy

Listening to an audiobook instead of the radio. Easy.

However each of these things are also easy not to do. 

Would you agree with me that NOT writing down three things you’re thankful for would be unlikely to mean that you are a grouch and constantly complaining tomorrow?

Would you agree that NOT buckling your seat belt on your commute on Monday would be unlikely to end in a fiery car crash?

In my opinion, one of the main ideas of the book is that our habits generally rule the actions that tie directly into the slight edge.

Your habits are what will propel you up the success curve or down the failure curve.

–J. Paul Getty

If we can structure our habits so that they feed our positive progress up the slight edge, we can use the momentum we build over time to ride our way to goals that may seem incredible at this time.

This post is not designed to be the exhaustive resource on habits, if you would like more information on the power of habits, making them stick, and a book recommendation on the subject, here are three resources:

However, I would like to encourage you to start as soon as you can to build the habits that you need to propel you towards the goal you have. Think of it in this way, could you move in that direction by 0.3% tomorrow? That’s only one third of one percent!

If you usually run 1 mile, you would run 1 mile and 15 feet.

This is a ridiculously small improvement, right?

Consider this though, if you are able to consistently improve at this rate, one year from now you will be well over 100% better!

This old Chinese proverb is worth pondering.

Be not afraid of going slowly;

be afraid only of standing still

 

So what easy thing are you going to do today?

Have you watched this week’s video?

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Why Should I Read | Confidence of a Champion

Have you ever been scrolling down Instagram and been hit with a barrage of happy couples, outfit grids, tanned legs in front of palm trees, or engagement rings?

If you’re like me, you’ve thought to yourself “Wow, they have it all together! I wish I were more ….” You fill in the blank, in shape, more handsome, wealthier, more successful. You name it. We are consistently barraged with the comparison game in our social media, social circles, or social lives.

 

This game, however, doesn’t lend itself to your success. In Tim Marks’s breakthrough book, Confidence of a Champion, section two is dedicated to stopping people from negative comparing. He chronicles our tendency to focus on our weak points in an unfair comparison with other’s fantastic successes.

This post is the follow up to the YouTube video, check out the video if you haven’t yet!

Our minds and bodies are wired for accomplishment and when we feel like we don’t measure up to others that we see around us we feel inferior. However, this becomes a never-ending quest for trophies and trinkets.

This could be why John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and one of the richest men in historym when asked, “How much money is enough?” responded with the ground shaking statement:

Just one more dollar

Think about that, the most financially successful individual in recent history didn’t feel as if he could be satisfied even when “beating” everyone else in the rat race.

Reality Check. You and I have a very small chance of beating John D. Rockefeller in the possessions game. 

While I certainly believe that you and I have unlimited potential and we live in a time of unparalleled opportunity for success, the fact remains that even if we “succeed” in the world’s eyes the victory will be hollow if all your satisfaction is tied to your accomplishments or accolades. As a Christian, I believe most people have a God-shaped hole in their lives that they try to fill with money or success but are ultimately unsuccessful in that endeavor.

So stop comparing your weaknesses to other’s strengths.


Stop it.


Instead rest assured that our country is founded on the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” You have worth regardless of your accomplishments because you are created in the image of the Creator.

 

In the video this week, there are several topics and each of them give value to individuals seeking to live confidently in their current situations and avoiding unhealthy comparison.

Our tendency to compare usually has something to do with the association we have, the stories we tell ourselves, and our understanding of the world we live in.

First of these three topics, association.

Association: The connection between people, ideas or things

Confidence of a Champion was written by Tim Marks and he was highly influenced by association through audio with Zig Ziglar. If you aren’t familiar with Zig, he was the foremost motivational speaker and teacher of the late 20th century and a highly respected authority on the topic of motivation and hope.

I have recently listened to Zig Ziglar’s audio series and then reading this book I was struck by the similarities in thought process and example types. The reason I share this observation is because of the association that both Tim and I share with Zig and it has influenced both of our views of the world. For you reading this, you may want to identify a leader in your chosen field and find ways to associate with them through audio or in person.

The power of association is apparent in the way you and I choose to view ourselves. By spending time with inspiring and healthy individuals we become more like those we are with. This has direct impact on our comparison tendency because we are reminded by inspiring stories that we can achieve our goals.

The second of these topics, Self Talk, deals directly with the inner dialogue we keep with ourselves. This topic is handled in section three of the book and one major point in that section is the idea of framing one’s circumstances in a positive light.

When I started my most recent job, I was faced with multiple areas of responsibility that needed to be addressed. These things seemed to pile up and pile up and eventually I sat down and filled a notebook page with bullet points of things that weren’t right and I needed to address. However, I stopped in that moment and took another sheet of paper and for each of those “wrong things” I wrote down a corresponding point of what was right in that area and how it could be improved on. This exercise helped me push off frustration in the moment because I could focus on the things that were going well.

The third of these topics, understanding our world, is handled in section six of the book. This section is entitled “Fight fear with faith.” Without faith, you and I tend to be down on ourselves or are ruled by fear. This is why we see such fear-mongering and the scared reaction many have to current events.

However, we are not called to a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And while we may tend towards comparing our current situation with others and become fearful, we need to remember that the end of the story is already written for those of us with faith. Tim Marks writes from a Christian perspective and encourages those with a different faith background to understand what their faith tells them about their world.

Two days ago, I had an opportunity to attend a luncheon with a favorite speaker and author of mine, John Stonestreet. One of his points was that as Christians we understand that moment in which we find ourselves, in light of the overarching story of the Bible’s four areas: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. This gives us hope for the moment we are in (even when things seem crazy) because we understand our world in the context of the full story.

The next time you find yourself wondering why you aren’t as successful as Bill Gates, or as beautiful as Beyoncè, or as funny as Kevin Hart, remember that we are created with that self evident value and without an eternal perspective, even if you did accomplish those goals you would still desire more. Instead try associating with someone you respect, framing your situation in a positive light and getting some eternal perspective on the moment you find yourself in.

That’s my current take on confidence, I hope it helps.

See you next week for a discussion on the Slight Edge!

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