D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

The Dip by Seth Godin

Sunday, June 27, 2010 11:04 PM
image The Dip
Seth Godin




I’ve seen Seth Godin give Ted talks, and I’ve heard people go on and on about “purple cows”, but I never was intrigued enough to actually read him. After a friend went on and on about his latest book, Lynchpin (which I’m currently reading), I decided to take the plunge into the Godin tomes. And I’m kicking myself that I didn’t do it earlier!

“The Dip” refers to the time between starting something and mastering it. It’s the difficult period after the honeymoon phase where the rubber hits the road and our noses are put to the grindstone. Look at the book cover image above. That gentle rolling hill behind the stick man, that’s the starting/honeymoon stage. At the top of the hill in front of him, that’s mastery. Notice the sharp climb awaiting our stickman.

In that space between is the dip, a place where we must evaluate the journey at hand and ask the question: is it really worth it?

The main idea of the book can be summarized by a passage from it:

Please understand this: if you cannot get through the Dip in an exceptional way, you must quit. And quit right now.

In our western culture and society, quitting is seen in a negative light. “Winners never quit” is something we’ve heard over and over again. If we quit something, it somehow shows a weakness in us…an inability, a failing. When we’re faced with a daunting assignment, engagement, opportunity, project, etc. we can either call uncle or we can buck up, put our heads down, and charge right into the fray!

But that’s stupid.

It’s stupid because its not about being macho, or showing that you can take the most pain, or that you can tolerate even the worst of environments. It’s stupid for a simpler reason: quitting pales in comparison to being average.

What Godin calls us to ask a simple question:

The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.

Quitting is not an admission of failure or inability, its a quality control tactic to ensure you’re only associated with exceptional results.

This book is about encouraging the reader to never settle for being less than exceptional. The biggest crisis-of-faith moment happens in the dip, when you face the mountain. Can you climb it and still be exceptional? Do you have the passion, the drive, and the commitment? Or, is this not your mountain to climb? Will you just be seen as another average climber, an also-ran, just another name for who climbed to the top?

Godin’s books, I’ve found, are somewhat scattered. You get one to two pages of a thought, then it switches to another thought, then another. But put them all together, and you have a book filled with wisdom and insight.

As its a short book, this is also a great introduction to Seth Godin and his writing style and content. I highly recommend this book to everyone, no matter what industry or position you hold.

Rating: 5/5


No comments posted yet.

Post a comment