Over the weekend I read Seth Godin’s new book called Linchpin. What a great book. It is an inspiring, motivating and instructional book that is sure to have a prominent place on every creative entrepreneur’s bookshelf.
One thing that really struck me was when Seth pointed out that too often we’re looking for the map that shows us how to be great.
Unfortunately, a map does not exist.
Greatness requires you to step up and use your strengths (which I call your talent, knowledge and passion) to create outcomes that lead to greatness.
If you’re looking for someone to show you how to be great and make a difference in the lives of others and the world at large you’ll always remain average at best, I’m afraid.
You can, however, learn from examples of what great people did in various situations.
You can see the greatness in others then reflect on your own ideas to expand your “greatness” thought process.
One of the best examples of “greatness thinking” was a story Seth shared on page 180 of Linchpin.
The story is about the time a young Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines (and many other very successful “Virgin” ventures), found himself stranded at an airport in the Caribbean due to a cancelled flight.
While others were complaining and relaying stories of the worst case scenario to over taxed ticketing agents, Richard Branson blazed a different trail.
He walked across the airport to a charter desk and asked how much it would cost to charter a flight.
Then he borrowed a portable blackboard and wrote, “Seats to Virgin Islands, $39.”
He sold enough seats to fellow passengers to completely cover his costs to get home on time. At the same time he planted seeds in his mind for an airline he’d start decades later.
What a great story of creative brilliance.
Anyone could have thought of it really but only one person did. He used his talents and knowledge along with his passion for getting home to create an outcome he wanted.
He stepped above the complainers to solve the problem.
He showed his greatness through innovation.
And that’s your mission for the next week.
What can you do today, tomorrow and everyday thereafter to create a different solution for your life, business, hobby or any other facet of your life?
Pick up a copy of Linchpin. Read it. Take notes. Then think about what you can do to become greater than you are today.
All it takes is using your greatest strengths, your talents, knowledge and passion, to their fullest. Remember, we’re all always just one great idea away for showing our true genius.