Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lessons from Linchpin

If you haven't had a chance to read Seth Godin's "Linchpin", I highly recommend it!  There are many lessons to be learned in the book.  I have chosen a few that have most impacted my thinking.  

"The person who leans forward the most wins the race" 

Our posture is important.  Leaders lean forward, we need to take risks and lean forward.  The linchpin sticks their chest out, whereas the cog sits and waits for instructions.  Cogs are easy to deal with, we want linchpins! - people who are unafraid of taking risks and at times challenge our thinking.  What holds us back from taking risks?  ...FAILURE?  Godin says, "Doesn't matter if you're always right, it matters that you're always moving." - We need to put ourselves out there even if you are unsure about the end product.  SHIP! Take the risk, write blogs, be uncomfortable, challenge others thinking!  Contribute!

Godin tells us the lizard brain and the resistance (negative self talk) hold us back.  They hold us prisoner, and keep us from taking risky steps.  They want us to maintain the status quo!    

"The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe." 

"The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival." 

"The lizard brain is the reason you're afraid, the reason you don't do all the art you can, the reason you don't ship when you can.  The lizard brain is the source of the resistance."

Worrying about what people think and the possibility of failure hold us back.  Risk taking always has the possibility of bringing failure along with it.  We need to subdue the lizard brain and hold back the resistance to move forward in education.  We need to model to our teachers and students that failure can be an option if you are taking risks, and yes it is okay to fail.

"Fit in or Fail"  Are we training our students and staff to fit in or encouraging them to take risks?  Godin says, "schools should only teach two things; solve interesting problems and leadership."

How do you encourage your staff or students to take risks and accept failure?

How do you subdue the lizard brain and resistance?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I read Godin's blog every day and always take something valuable away from it. I appreciate your thought-leadership. I hope to read "Linchpin." I think I'm already starting a list for next summer's reading.