Mitch Schneider: Who's Not Interested in Becoming Extraordinary?

Mitch Schneider: Who’s Not Interested in Becoming Extraordinary?

I'm excited! And, if you find a hint of evil at the corners of my crooked smile - well, so what! It's been a while, and smiling feels pretty good right about now. What is it that feels so good? I'm afraid you're going to have a wait just a little while longer to find out.

I’m excited! And, if you find a hint of evil at the corners of my crooked smile — well, so what! It’s been a while, and smiling feels pretty good right about now.

What is it that feels so good? I’m afraid you’re going to have a wait just a little while longer to find out.

In the meantime, there is something else I’d like to share with you — the key elements of two books I just finished reading, both written by Seth Godin. The first is “Tribes,” a book about leading and leadership. And, the second is “Linchpin.” a “how-to” book on becoming indispensible. In many ways, “Linchpin” is the logical extension of “Tribes,” and I would highly recommend both books to anyone interested in becoming extraordinary.

You have to stop and think about that last sentence for a moment; at least, I do: “and I would highly recommend both books to anyone interested in becoming extraordinary.”

How sad it is that there is a need to clarify that statement with the awareness, no, the realization, that there are people out there who aren’t interested in becoming extraordinary. But it’s the truth and you know it.

To a large degree, both “Tribes” and “Linchpin” explain the how and the why of it. And the how and the why of it is the reason I’m so happy. Not because I just finished dealing with an individual or a group satisfied and content with the ordinary, but because I just got done dealing with a group of individuals —  a company — a corporate culture, that both elevates and celebrates the extraordinary.

The key elements here are stepping up and stepping out, leading by example and allowing people to follow. Recognize that it can and probably will be messy because you don’t want people to follow blindly. It’s about the work — the art or gift all of us are capable of creating in the work we have chosen to do. It’s about the gift — what we share openly and willingly, often without compensation, with the tribes we lead. It’s about the concept of shipping — finishing what you start and getting the work out on time and under budget. And it’s about the fear — otherwise known as the resistance generated by the “Lizard Brain” (aka: the Amygdala, the part of the brain charged with processing and memory of emotional reactions).

What has any of this got to do with extraordinary, becoming a leader or indispensible, or both? Everything!
Think about it for a second … When was the last time you ran into someone you felt was incredible, extraordinary, indispensible, or a leader who — didn’t lead or lead by example? Who didn’t do the work or get it done? Who didn’t offer the work, their work, freely and without hesitation? Who didn’t meet their deadlines — who didn’t ship on time? And, who, in order to accomplish all of that, hadn’t overcome the resistance?

I didn’t think so.

This is some pretty powerful stuff, powerful when you first encounter it, powerful when you consider what you have encountered, and even more powerful when you begin to understand and integrate these principles into your own life; powerful when you recognize it in others.

In the context of the business world: our world, it is a game-changer – or, at least, it can be. And that’s the reason for my crooked little smile. I’m watching a miraculous transformation take place with one of our suppliers, no less profound no less wondrous and astounding, than watching a caterpillar become a butterfly. I’m smiling because I stand to benefit from all of this and apparently all it took was the appropriate tools and the removal of the necessary obstacles. But the tools were always there and the obstacles could have been removed at any time. What wasn’t there before was the belief, the belief that it was possible, the belief they were capable of removing the obstacles standing between them and the extraordinary.

I don’t think all this occurred because someone read either of these two books. One was just off the presses when I read it and the other was an advance copy. But I do believe none of it would have been possible without a deep, almost innate understanding of the principles advanced in either.

The experience left me even more committed to leading my own tribe than I was before, but it also left me wanting to become a member of their tribe. And by understanding and then choosing to become indispensible within the context of my own tribes, the automotive service company I own and operate and the motorists who follow me and who I take care of, it afforded me the ability to recognize when someone else is trying to do the same for me.

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