Seth Godin’s wrong but you should listen to him anyway

I love reading what Seth Godin writes. Tribes is a great book. His blog is always fun and helpful to read. But there’s been something nagging at me about all of it.

Godin is in the business of telling people what they want to hear – you can make a difference, you can get a following, the world needs leaders, etc, etc. There is a real market for people like me to hear someone say that and believe it. There will always be others who will listen to Godin and others with the same message, and they too will succeed, write books, and say the same thing, and we’ll believe them and find hope for ourselves.

Except that, not everyone who follows Godin’s advise will succeed. And not everyone is meant to follow Godin’s advise. Godin’s advise only works if a minority do it, and he knows only a minority will do it – that’s why it works.

God’s plan (not Godin’s) is broader than that, and includes more than leaders, although it needs leaders. The interesting thing about God’s plan is that its best leaders need to first be followers – followers of Jesus, and listeners of God’s word. This is much tougher than figuring out a niche for yourself, or simply deciding what you want to do. This involves figuring out what God wants you to do – and sometimes God will want you to set your ego aside and support someone else. Sometimes God will want you to decrease so that someone else might increase.

Okay, the title of the post is a little harsh. I don’t think Seth Godin is really wrong, but I’m not sure he’s really “right” either. His writing is inspirational and exceedingly helpful for leaders (including those God has called to lead within the Church). So, read his stuff for sure, but remember he’s just a guy his own message. He’s not the source of hope for all leaders. We believe in a different source of hope.

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One thought on “Seth Godin’s wrong but you should listen to him anyway

  1. Byron Wade says:

    Matt – great post! You can’t listen to everyone (and you shouldn’t!). Only God is who we need to be guided by. Thanks!

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