By design, the society only awards those who make some initiatives. It does not matter the project one undertakes, what does matter is the commitment of the person who is undertaking the particular task. The book emphases the importance of innovation in the fast-moving world, as the author puts it “the job is not to catch up with the position quo; the task is to create the status quo” this implies that in whatever anyone chooses to pursue it is important that it is innovative and different from trends that are currently in place. So as leaders and future leaders one of the most important questions that we can ask ourselves is what box are we going to poke, in this context we shall be evaluating the project we are going to undertake whether it looks extremely profitable or it is just interesting.
In his book “Poke the Box,” Seth Godin takes a more leadership perspective than managerial views. In management, it is always about conformity, first people have to play by a list of rules that are presented to them to help in guiding their activities in a system that thrives in compliance and playing by the rules, however over time the principle of compliance has been outdated and has lost its competitive edge over other leadership approaches, in contrast to the leadership perspective; the author advocates that people break from the shackles of conformity and come out and innovate new ideas irrespective of the risks. The author goes further and encourages the readers and his audiences to stop waiting to be presented with opportunities, but instead, they should take up projects that are appealing to them personally and which they can carry out with a lot of enthusiasm.
We can do it today.
The other reason why I strongly believe the author takes a leadership stands in his book is his belief in human’s abilities. The author believes that humans have the ability to achieve anything that they put their mind to. The author goes further and develops a manifesto that promotes the individuals into venturing into a business. He begins with urging awareness about the current market opportunities as well as self-awareness of the individual willing to take the step (Godin). Secondly, the author brings out the element of education, in which case doesn’t necessarily mean higher education per say but the ability to understand an individual’s surrounding thirdly, the author goes further and shades light on networking and being connected which earns the risk taker trust from the people he/she engages.
The other element of success as the author brings out is consistency. The risk taker must not give up as soon as his ship sets sail; however, he should remain consistent in his/her work since the society and other systems that govern the existence of human understands what to anticipate. Fifthly, the risk taker needs to create an asset, in this case, it is something that he/she can sell; lastly, the element of productivity is given more importance, this element enables one to fetch the best market prices for whatever goods or services they have to offer to the public. In a nutshell, the author attempts to encourage the audience and the readers of the book to make the initiative and to break from the shackles of status quo, conformity, and lack of initiative. The differences between leadership and management can be therefore stated that in management, the directors find out what they want to be done and get the people to do it whereas in leadership is all about the free will of the people.
Seth Godin promotes the theory of transformational leadership. This theory focuses on the leader’s ability to mobilize and inspire the followers by focusing on transformation and the following of the people’s visions and dreams. The central principle of this theory of leadership focuses on the ability of an individual to modify the organizational structure to enable the people around them to follow easily. To achieve this, there are four primary blocks that help in the building of transformational leadership. To begin with, transformational leaders have to idealize influence; the author uses his example as an extrinsic motivator of a specific behavior, a concept proverbially termed as “practicing what he preaches” the leader can show conviction in regards to the goals he sets out and stays loyal to the cause no matter what. This will earn the leader trust and respect causing the subordinates to follow him.
Transformational leadership uses motivation as a key ingredient in achieving its objectives. The leadership incentive is based on tangible aims and sanguinity about achieving the set goals. The notion is that by developing a sense of determination, the juniors are more enthralled to work more since they recognize what the set objectives and goals are. This block further requires the leadership to have confidence on the subordinates and supports them on how to achieve the goals set out through self-development. The other block is intellectual stimulation, in this case, the leader does not think for the subordinates, however, he allows the subordinates to think for themselves and make decisions that will help them to transform their lives.
The last block of transformational leadership is the individual consideration. In this case, the desires of the subordinates both professional and private desires are taken into consideration by the leader. To this effect, the team and individual achievement are celebrated together. The framework borrows from Maslow’s pyramid and focuses not only on the educational achievement of the subordinate but also self-actualization.
In conclusion, the book “poking the box” mainly focuses on leadership rather than management. The leadership technique described in the book mainly encourages the subordinates as well as the readers of the book to make efforts and build something for them self; something that is entirely different from the pre-existing innovation as a way of breaking the shackles of status quo.
- Godin, Seth . Poke the Box: Whwn was the last time you did something for the fist time. Irvington, New York: Do you Zoom Inc, 2011.
- Cazalis, Begoñe. “Student Corner Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the Media: An Analysis through Cultural Studies Theory.” Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 3.1 (2009): 97-111.