The Wisdom of Pooh (or, Seth Godin is OFF my Christmas list!)

24 01 2009

Finding myself turning into a Seth Godin fanboy I have had two recent disappointments. Firstly, the man himself is coming to London to give a seminar. That’s not the disappointment. The disappointment is the price of £115! Heck I’m going to see Bob Dylan (major hero of mine)  and the tickets are half the price. I have a spare one so if you’re interested, drop me a line!

The second disappointment is that Seth dissed Winnie the Pooh! (another hero of mine) and I thought it was time that the Bear of Little Brain got a bit of decent pr on a leadership blog.

In “The House at Pooh Corner,” there is a chapter “In Which Tigger Is Unbounced“. I won’t spoil the story for you but essentially Pooh, Piglet and Rabbit are lost in the mist in the middle of the Forest. Rabbit leads the way, as he does, but despite walking a long way the friends remain resolutely lost.

They were having a rest in a small sand-pit on the top of the Forest. Pooh was getting rather tired of that sand-pit, and suspected it of following them about, because whichever direction they started in, they always ended up at it, and each time, as it came through the mist at them, Rabbit said triumphantly, “Now I know where we are !” and Pooh said sadly, “So do I,” and Piglet said nothing.

Pooh then makes the radical suggestion that if they were to head off and try, once again, to find this same sand-pit, then surely they wouldn’t find it, instead they would find something better “and that would be a Good Thing.”

Predictably, Rabbit scorns the idea and heads off to prove its error. Pooh and Piglet instead accepting that they don’t quite know where they are going but listening for the twelve pots of honey calling out to Pooh from home, set off and are soon having tea with Christopher Robin. Needless to say Rabbit remains resolutely lost until Tigger finds him.

My work situation hasn’t been the best for quite a while now and as a group we have been going round and round in circles still finding the same sand-pit. Eventually, I decided that things were going to be different. I don’t know the right answer or the right direction but I did decided to take the initiative and do things differently.

A lot of people recognise that their course appears more circuitous than direct. Leadership is not necessarily about knowing the end destination and plotting a detailed and true course but simply deciding to take the initiative and do things differently. After all, whether the rewards are honey pots or something of lesser value, they are probably more rewarding than that sand-pit.

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4 responses

25 01 2009
Howard

Hope I’m doing this right , not used to blogging so appologies if I’m not . Enjoying the insights :o)
” If you want to get something you’ve never got before , you gotta do something you’ve never done before ” ( somebody much smarter than me, that’ll narrow it down , who’s name I forget )
” Only a fool keeps doing something the same way and expects to get different results ” ( again a smart person .. )

25 01 2009
inseiffolliet

Yes Howard, you’re doing it right. The aim is to stimulate thought but also sharing of ideas and opinions. No-one is “right” although ultimately I DO have editorial power.

It is one thing to recognise that one needs to do something that one has never done before. It is ranother changing “one” to “I”.

25 01 2009
Seth Godin

At least I won’t show up drunk.

but Bob is a much better singer than I am.

25 01 2009
inseiffolliet

Laughs. Thanks for the comment. I am honoured.

What do you think of Pooh’s initiative as a leader though?

ps. Back ON my Christmas list simply for visiting

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