Dear Seth Godin… So What?

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Thought Leaders & the Litany of Platitudes

Dear Godin, Gladwell, TED Talkers, et al,

SO WHAT?

I mean this in the most passionate, pure-of-heart, eager-to-do-good kind of way.

I also actively seek inspiration, change, and disruption. As George Carlin once said, “the status quo sucks” and after 30 years of feeling it, I’m ready to do something about it.

Roll up your sleeves and head online. The old way of doing things is out. A new way is in. Sign up for Godin’s daily “blog”, read Gladwell’s books, watch every freakin’ TED Talk available. It will fire you up. It will make you pull up your boot straps. “There are people who think about change just like I do.”

F*CK IT LET’S DO IT.

What do we want?

Change!

When do we want it?

NOW!

Why do we want this?

Because someone told us we did!

How will we do it?

<crickets>

Why is this? Because no one is REALLY talking about how. And some won’t even address the why. They’re totally focused on the what. The what is easy. There are millions of whats, from the profound and social activating, to the business-focused, and every angle in between.

We need an economics system that doesn’t continue to reward the rich and punish the poor.

We need to demand justice for racial inequality.

We need to tell better stories to our customers.

We need to change the way we think about “overhead” costs in charities.

So what?

We know the what. We feel it in our bones and marrow. We need to address the why. And we need a how, and that’s where it all starts to come apart for us. And the litany of platitudes from thought leaders doesn’t help. It’s like a drug. It’s a rush to hear the what. It’s a bummer to dig into the why and the how – because the why and the how are hard.

What do we want?

Leaders who offer us more than platitudes.

When do we want it?

NOW.

Why do we want it?

Because we need to ensure that leadership is more than a passive noun. We need to ensure that leaders are actively leading.

How will we do it?

By holding those in power accountable.

And how will we do that?

By disrupting the status quo. By asking hard questions of those who attempt to offer easy answers. By assembling groups of people who feel the what but need the how, and when, and who. By ignoring platitudinous axioms dished out ad nauseam and doing it ourselves. By not paying a cent to someone who tells us what we need to be doing without committing themselves to helping us with the how.

Don’t take “I can’t tell you how” for an answer.

“I can’t tell you how” really just means “I don’t really have time to invest in the what”

So how?

Let’s start with coffee. Or a pint. Or an email conversation. Or a Skype call. And a notebook. And a lot of fierce thoughts expressed with no holds barred.