Monday, December 12, 2005

The Big Moo - Seth Godin, Editor

Subtitled "Stop Trying to Be Perfect and Start Being Remarkable" the book is set up as short vignettes written by 33 well known writers, leaders and all around gurus. Folks like Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Daniel H. Pink, Mark Cuban, Alan Webber and Tom Kelly - The Group of 33.

Several remarkable things about this book: all the contributors gave their work free of charge; 100% of author proceeds go directly to three listed charities; and Mr. Godin invites those of us who purchased the book to photocopy as much as we want and send it to as many people as we would like.

If you are familiar with any of Seth Godin's works, such as Permission Marketing or Purple Cow, such outside-the-box thinking will not be a surprise. There is probably no one more qualified to speak to this subject of being remarkable than this man. He is an original and this book is the product of original thinking. In order to make the book flow, the decision was made not to put each author's name on the contribution he or she made. That actually adds a great deal to the experience of reading these reflections since we aren't distracted by trying to place these thoughts in the context of what we already know about the author. Another excellent choice that affirms that this book is what it tells us we should all strive to be - remarkable.

The Big Moo is in the category of what I would call an easy read: it's structured as easily digestible bits of insight. The kind that you want to quote, underline, write down or email to people you work with. There is something that will speak to everyone, no matter what you do or what company you work for. It's the kind of book that sits on your desk so you can pick it up and find that great story or quote that great example in trying to make your own point. It's a handbook of affirmation.

I like to read in the early morning and it's become a regular routine because of my son's schedule in getting ready for school. I read just over half the book this morning. Then I attended a two hour department heads meeting from 10 to noon where I kept listening to what was said in the context of what I had just read. Real life does not mesh with the ideal too often.

Of the many things that I read in the book this evening, this one leaped out at me from "Defying Gravity": "Numbers-based innovations are easy to sell . . . They rarely cause people to look back in awe at the amazing thing they've done. It's the emotional stuff - the stuff that some smart people don't think will work - that you need to be a part of." This was followed in the next vignette with an equally interesting observation: "In a metric-minded organization, it's very tempting to focus on things that are easy to measure instead of those things that are important to measure." This is the stuff that meetings are made of.

This is a must-read in my opinion. It was recommended by Val August, and I am very grateful to have so many reading friends who keep pointing me in the right direction. Everything about this book is interesting and engaging, including the short profiles of the contributors at the end. If you want to buy a book that will help you while helping several good causes, this would be the one.

No comments: