Today I am delighted to have Seth Godin as my "Friend of Simplicity."
Seth is regarded as one of the worlds leading business gurus and has been described as the world leading blogger. I managed to catch him when he visited England earlier this week to deliver a talk in London.
Seth is the author of ten books. His books have been best sellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work. 'Permission Marketing' was an Amazon.com Top100 bestseller for a year, a Fortune 'Best Business Book' and it spent 4 months on the Business Week bestseller list.
'Unleashing the Ideavirus' is the most popular ebook ever written. More than one million people downloaded the digital version of this book about how ideas spread.
Seth is a renowned speaker as well.
He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by his audiences.
He holds an MBA from Stanford and was called 'The Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age' by Business Week.
I hope you enjoy reading Seth’s views.
Trevor - Thanks for agreeing to this interview Seth - one of the many things that impresses me about you is that you find time to respond to 'ordinary folks' like me in your busy schedule. Would you agree with me that responsiveness is one of the most important elements of successful leadership in business?
Seth - The thing is, there are 1000 important elements of successful leadership. Responsiveness is up there, of course, but it's possible to be a powerful leader and not be responsive on a moment's notice. The goal is to find a few elements where you can excel, where you can make a difference for people. Great a few, lousy at none is a good motto.
Trevor - You are one of the worlds leading 'modern' management/business gurus' - do you have your own heroes or role models in this field?
Seth - I'm not a guru, I just play one on TV. I have tons of role models, some fictional, some real. One real leader I admire and try to emulate is Jacqueline Novogratz at the Acumen Fund. She's doing important work, and doing it with flair and generosity. My dad, CEO of a hospital crib company in the US is another. For fifty years he's been showing me how it's done.
Trevor - What are you reading at the moment and what book has influenced you most?
Seth - I'm reading an advance copy of Douglas Rushkoff's new book, "You, Inc." It's terrific. I have been influenced by countless books, and want to give a shoutout to Tom Peters and his Pursuit of Wow and the Seminar book as well.
Trevor - Have you visited the UK and if not do you have plans to cross the pond?
Seth - I'm here right now! As I write this. But just for a few days. What a great country. The juxtaposition of the traditional (ancient) with a desire to change is just extraordinary.
Trevor - My great passion in business is the search for simplicity - what do you think about simplicity in the modern business world and what is your own greatest passion?
Seth - I find that simplicity has an enemy: fear. Fear demands places to hide, and simplicity can't offer that. I would say my passion is helping people discover their fear and then ignore it.
Trevor - Finally Seth can you crystal ball gaze for a moment and give us your vision of the key skills that will be needed to succeed in business in the next 20 years - particularly for the small business or single handed consultant?
Seth - I think choosing the right scale is vitally important. How big is your organization? Your network? How do you balance complexity, leverage and overhead? Don't give up. Bright days ahead.
Trevor - Thank you Seth - I appreciate your time - hope you enjoy your time in England!