the dip

Posted October 1, 2009 in Leadership, What We're Reading

By: Seth Godin

Reviewed By: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: The idea that quitters never win and winners never quit is completely debunked by Seth Godin in this quick read pocket book. Every new project (or job, or hobby or company) starts out exciting and fun. Then it gets more challenging and less fun, until it hits a low point when it’s not fun and really hard.

According to Godin, this point could either be a “dip” (a temporary setback that can be overcome if you keep pushing) or a “cul-de-sac” (a situation that will NEVER get better, no matter how hard you try). Godin asserts that highly successful people can quickly evaluate the difference between the two and then quit the “cul-de-sac” situations fast and without guilt. Most people quit ‘mid-dip’ because they run out of time, interest, money. Or, they settle for mediocrity, get scared or don’t take the situation seriously enough (aren’t passionate).

And finally, sometimes the pain of getting through the short-term realities makes you lose track of the long-term benefits…and you quit. Godin helps you figure out if you’re in a dip that’s worth your time, effort and talents.

The Bottom-line: This book is another spin on the current trend that’s storming the leadership bookshelves: how do successful individuals become successful and why aren’t more people successful? What’s interesting about this one is that it points to patterns in your behaviour that may either be enabling your success or derailing it. The concept of embracing becoming a “quitter” is a tough one to swallow in this hyper-achievement oriented work world. Godin makes his case through examples of successful people who clearly put their emphasis on knowing when to retract from a situation and shift their efforts and attentions to areas that would provide bigger payoff. With most individuals and organizations managing far to many priorities and putting their efforts in multiple directions, it’s actually no wonder that so many people are burning out and companies are stalling.

Personally, I think many people don’t quit because of how they think other people will view them. As Godin points out, it takes courage to quit so that you can be great at something else. If you’re the type who finds yourself frequently burning the candle at both ends, this little book will be a good read filled with lessons for leadership and for life.


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