Editor’s Note: This is Seth Godin‘s contribution to our month-long core conversations on “Great Connections Lead to Great Ideas.” Seth’s thinking and work has had a profound impact on my own and I consider him a mentor-from-afar. His contribution is insightful and edge-working as ever…
There’s no doubt that great conversations can lead to great ideas. But for me, it’s the space in between the conversations that are magical.
When you breathe the same air as Sir Ken Robinson, or sit quietly next to Jacqueline Novogratz or Ishita Gupta, your game gets raised. Not because there’s some mystical piece of hidden information that is imparted to you (I call this the myth of the secret idea). No, great ideas often happen because you realize that you have no choice, not if you want to continue to hang out with others that are in a hurry to make a difference.
Instead, sadly, most of us spend our time with those that want to lower the bar, that insist on mediocrity in the name of safety. As Charlie the Unicorn might say, “shun the non believers.”
As in so many other things, we do our best work when the bar is raised, when others are expecting great work. (click to tweet – thanks!)
More about Seth: Seth Godin is the author of thirteen books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change, and work. Seth’s blog is one of the most popular and influential on the web today.
Megan Elizabeth Morris says
I’ve noticed this effect, but I’d never stopped to put a name to it. It’s definitely the reason I seek out people who raise my game (without even knowing they’re doing it).
Also, I crack right up every time someone mentions Charlie the Unicorn now. I thought I could ignore it… but now clearly I can’t. It’s actually relevant.
Paul Durban says
When someone with great expectations challenges me, I always say yes before my lizard brain has the opportunity to change my mind. I’ve never regretted those decisions. I would rather crawl into a hole and disappear forever than disappoint a person whose work I admire and respect.
And I cannot overemphasize the learning aspect. Hanging with people who are motivated to change the world forces your hand. Because they’re not going to wait for you. Countless hours of research, testing and sharing keep me on the shared path to greatness.
Nathalie Lussier says
I’ve seen this in action, and it’s amazing how powerful it is. I think it’s something you can quite grasp until you experience it though… being around go-getters makes you go and get. 🙂
Rachel Rodgers says
This is SO what I needed to hear today! I am embarking on a new aspect of my entrepreneurial journey and bringing an innovative approach to a very traditional profession. When I am in the midst of creating, I sometimes wonder what my colleagues would say, but I am going to follow Seth’s advice to stop spending time or listening to those “that insist on mediocrity in the name of safety.”
Archan Mehta says
Once upon a time, the tennis pro, Andre Agassi, was on top of his game, but he still sought out the help of Tony Robbins. Tony helped Andre raise the bar through motivational tips and techniques. You should try to surround yourself with people who can challenge you. People who believe in the power of your dreams. People who are supportive during the lean times and people who believe that anything is possible if you make the effort. Cheers.
I don’t know if the great ideas are because you have no choice. I think the people you are around affect you-for good and bad. If you are with enthusiastic people, you will be enthusiastic. If you are with people who are downers, you will have a hard time not being down. (Or you can just pick up and leave.)
For me, I love the way you (Seth) say so much with the minimum amount of words. (A trait I need to learn.)
Lisa Groom Firke says
One of the things I admire about Seth is that his missives are so short, but nutritious.