Seth Godin on the power of insubordination. (Like forgiveness > permission?) Free PDF @ http://bit.ly/aSWBsN :: My proactive mantra across my career as a self-identified Linchpin. Someone who's challenging the status quo daily, making changes, content, and tools to help our tech-savvy customers get things done, teach people, and make use of technology to impact the world and tomorrow's adults.
From the intro to this packed 'little' PDF:
I started my first real business in 1976, when I was sixteen. I ran a large student-run business in college. Went to business school in 1982 and started my first job in 1983.
Along the way, twenty seven years into this thing they call my career, I’ve figured out that there are three kinds of people:
Linchpins Supporters Leeches, Advocates for the Devil, and Bystanders (aka people in a pre-linchpin state)
I lump the last three together as one kind, because I don’t think they deserve categories of their own. Even though they’re the majority in terms of numbers, they don’t matter so much in terms of getting things done.
The first group, the Linchpins, are the people who make a difference, the ones that ship, the rare ones that truly have an impact. This group of people, in that moment of time, change everything.
The second group, the Supporters, are eager and willing to help. They respect and admire the work the linchpin is doing, and they’re ready to supply leverage or money or just a smile to help get the job done. Even better, they challenge the linchpin to do more, dig deeper and make an
even bigger difference.
The third group, as you’ve probably guessed, are the pessimists, the obstructionists and the protectors of the status quo. Driven largely by fear, they set out to slow you down, whittle you down and average you down. Mostly, it’s not their fault, though, because they’ve been brainwashed and don’t yet realized how powerful and productive it is to take a different route.
It’s tempting to call these people out by name and to demonstrate how their fear is robbing so many people of a chance to make a difference. I won’t, though, because it’s not productive. People don’t end up in this third group because they choose to be there... they end up here because the lizard brain is so freaked out and the resistance is so loud that they really don’t have any choice.
What I do is mentally affix a red “L” (for leech) to their forehead and then, for as long as I can, avoid them. Like a pothole in an otherwise smooth road, it’s just easier to drive around them.
At the same time, I feel sorry for them. They are in this group because of fear, not by choice. They wrestle every day with overwhelming feelings of impending doom. Fortunately, it’s not a permanent condition.
The opportunities to make change are bigger and more attractive than ever before. Our leverage is more easily available, cheaper and more powerful too.
Our job as linchpins, then, is to lead the way, to organize and connect people so they can
overcome the resistance and actually do something with the huge advantages our society has given us. If you’re reading this on a Kindle or a laptop or an iPhone, it’s pretty clear that you’re literate, intelligent and by almost any measure, rich.
What are you going to do with that headstart?