Poke the Box

Posted September 1, 2012 in Communication, Self-Insight, What We're Reading

By: Seth Godin

Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe

The Premise: When was the last time you did something for the first time? asks Seth Godin in his “start something” manifesto, Poke the Box. This slim volume is a bit like reading a Rick Mercer rant with a bit of a marketing spin. Godin continues on his “Linchpin” theme of encouraging the reader to step outside of the “norm” and make a difference. Poke the Box focuses on starting and shipping. Don’t just talk about your big ideas, do something. Don’t wait for your boss, HR or the organization to tell you what to do, use your initiative and make something happen. But not just anything… something that is valuable. Something that matters. Written in Godin’s almost “stream of consciousness” blogger style, the book combines observation, real-world examples and Seth’s unfiltered opinions.

The Bottom Line: I’m a big fan of Seth Godin’s thinking. We’ve invited him to speak for us a few times, but so far “no dice”. I figure if I keep reviewing his books, he’ll eventually break down and acquiesce to an interview. I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, I read Poke the Box in 90 minutes the night before our newsletter deadline. It’s a fast read. Like most of Seth’s books, I find the value here is in how he gets you thinking outside of the box.
Poke the Box is a good kick in the pants to get you thinking about getting over a fear of failure and recognizing the inherent danger that comes with being complacent.Interestingly, I read this book after sitting in a meeting with some clients who were sharing with me some frustrations about their “supposedly” high potential leaders. The problem? Apparently, they don’t initiate enough. They wait to be told what to do. They’re always looking to management for direction. Interesting. So, what’s being said about you when you’re not in the room? Poke the Box might give you the courage you need to get up and start something.

Roundtable Rating: A good read, but pick up Linchpin first.

Check out the book and download a free workbook to help you get started.

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