Yesterday I had the opportunity to hear Seth Godin speak. Here are some tips from him on how to be a Linchpin (this is all paraphrased):
-Go beyond the manual. FAIL, FAIL, and FAIL again (failure was a common theme discussed throughout the morning).
-You cannot succeed by doing just what you are told.
-When there is someone else keeping pace with us we always want to be ahead by just a little bit, but once we get ahead and the road is clear we slow down and are not sure what to do.
-Everyone is lonely, and everyone wants to belong to something; create a tribe of people with shared values to feed that loneliness.
-Everyone has a “daemon” or “genius” within us, open up and let it out.
-Solve problems in a way that has never been done before.
-Connect with someone in a way that changes them forever.
-Seek to create ideas that spread and make a product into something worth talking about.
-Sometimes there is no right answer.
-Apply the rules of pictionary to work. Try to think of as many solutions as you can; coming up with ideas will not hurt anyone.
The world is a lot smaller; your job is going to go, so redefine what it is that you do. Do a job where someone cannot tell you what to do, something that you cannot write in a manual. Being complacent and trying to fit it only makes you easily replaceable, are you willing to be a cog in a dying system?
He then spoke for a while about having a “lizard brain.” A lizard’s main task in life is to not die before it has reproduced; when faced with fear the lizard ducks and hides away. We cannot be like the lizard. Fear is very powerful and yes it keeps us alive, but we need to learn to have rational fears. We cannot fear innovation, or failure. We need to be accepting of a cycle of innovation.
We need to become artists. Find your art, whether that be computing, building, or designing, find a way to communicate what it is that you are passionate about. Include generosity in your art. Deliver something to someone else without a monetary transaction – that helps to create a connection between two people which can benefit all involved because it will bring us closer. Change the way you interact with others, conquer the lizard brain. Put your work out there and fail.
How do you inspire innovation within yourself and where you work?