Seth Godin always triggers many thought provoking ideas in his books and blog posts.   In Tribes, Seth addresses leadership and “why we need you to lead us.”

The book has made me realise that leadership is up to you – the individual – it’s not something that is bestowed upon you.

Tribes by Seth Godin
Tribes by Seth Godin

If you’re waiting to it to be handed to you on a platter, then really you’re a follower, not a leader.  And that is fine.  Leaders needs followers afterall, but not blind followers. The best followers are eager and are prepared to challenge the leader!

It’s also apparent that you may choose to be a follower in one aspect of your life and a leader in another – so it’s neither right nor wrong, whatever you decide.

On page 55, Seth talks about ‘discomfort’ being the reason leadership is scarce.

This scarcity makes leadership valuable. If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens. It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.  In other words, if everyone could do it, they would and it wouldn’t be worth much.

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that may fail.
It’s  uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place a leader is needed.  If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain that you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.

I wholeheartedly agree with his comments here.  Doing uncomfortable things is a very good way to describe the constant state of running a small business!

The things I find most uncomfortable are:

1. Making a call as soon as I know there’s a problem with an employee not fitting our Bluewire culture (aka helping them find a more appropriate employment opportunity elsewhere.)

2. Politely refusing to work with prospective clients that don’t fall within our Hedgehog concept.

3.  Resolving “blow-ups” that are outside my control (eg. supplier failure) yet entirely my responsibility (as business owner).

However uncomfortable I find doing these things, the short term pain is always worth the long term gain!

Business Speaker: If you’d like me to speak at your event or write an article for your blog or website, please give the Bluewire Media office a call on 1300 258 394 a call.


Leadership, seth godin

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