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Political Sportsmanship

flag This post went “live” the day after the election in the U.S. However, in the interest of full disclosure, we wanted you to know that we recorded this show mid-morning on Tuesday, the day of the election. So we don’t know who won the Presidential race (or any other race for that matter). We don’t even know if anyone knows who won!

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Political sportsmanship may sound like an oxymoron to you. It need not be. We should be able to accept the outcome of an election, and be a good winner or a good loser, no matter what the results are.

As kids, we were taught how to be a good sport. Don’t sulk if you lose because a sore loser loses twice. Don’t gloat if you win because the one thing worse than a bad loser is a bad winner.

As adults, we sometimes forget about this, and not just when it comes to elections. Maybe we propose an idea, but our group doesn’t go with it. We need to accept the outcome and be a good sport. 

Rituals of sportsmanship

In sports, the two teams usually shake hands after a game and talking with each other. For instance, after a football game, you’ll often see the opposing quarterbacks chatting. They have a common bond because of their position; they face similar challenges. It’s only natural that they would find things to talk about.

Whatever you may think of politicians, they are often very graceful in defeat. We hear their concession speeches and they often go above and beyond in congratulating their opponent on his or her victory. It sends an important message to their followers that it’s time to put the election behind and move forward united.

Burying the hatchet

There’s a tradition practiced in Sussex County, Delaware called Return Day. It started in 1792. People came to Georgetown, the county seat, to cast their vote on election Tuesday. The results were tabulated over the next two days. On Thursday, the people would return to Georgetown (hence the name Return Day) to find out who won. The competing politicians were there as well, and they buried a symbolic hatchet in the sand showing the race was over and it was time to move on together.

Isn’t that a fantastic idea? The leaders, with their followers, come together to put the past behind and move forward together for a better future. 

Celebrate the process

So let’s celebrate the process. We’re very lucky to live in a country where we can express our opinion every two years. We can remain engaged and contact our elect representatives, even if we didn’t happen to vote for him or her. You get a say in your government!

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There’s an expense that many companies are cutting back on. Next time, we’ll discuss why we think it’s a BIGG mistake. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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We the People are Taking Back Our Country

(Image by jcolman,CC 2.0)

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part I

tribes Seth Godin joined us on The Bigg Success Show today for the first of a three-part series to discuss his fantastic new book, Tribes. Seth is well-known to most of us, but here are some of the details: He is known as the most popular business blogger on the web. He also has written 10 best-selling books, including three of our favorites: Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, and The Dip. Here’s a recap of the first part of our conversation:

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marylynnI have to tell you, Seth, that your book The Dip was very influential in my decision to leave radio to build my own brand. You talked about how the industry forgot they were in the relationship business, not just the radio business. That really helped take me over the top and I said, “Yes, I’m going to start Bigg Success!”

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seth_godinI’m so glad to hear that and Tribes is going to help you even more because I talk a lot about the difference between having faith in a vision, faith in the future, or faith in the content about what you do and abandoning the rules or the religion of the status quo.

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What is a tribe?

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georgeWe love this book, Seth. We see some of the themes from your previous books and you pull it all together, which is fantastic. Why don’t you start by telling us what a “tribe” is?

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seth_godinA tribe is a group of people that are connected by a common goal, a common language, and common rituals. Usually they have a leader and a movement – they’re trying to make something happen. A tribe is very different than a crowd. A crowd is just a bunch of people. A crowd is people coming to your Grand Opening Sale, people clicking through to your web site, or people looking at your ads on TV. Marketers love crowds, but they have to earn a tribe, which is a totally different thing.

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marylynn
Because a tribe interacts with each other and that’s what starts creating the movement.

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seth_godinThat’s exactly right. Tribes are always bigger than the leader himself. We can look at some famous ones, like Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. Clearly it was the movement and the tribe that made the difference, not the person at the front of the room. We see tribes in everything from marathon runners or triathletes all the way to the Red Hat Ladies, the fifty- or sixty-year old women you’ll see around the world at cafes or the women who have now taken up roller derby and do it in the evenings instead of watching TV.

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Engagement comes from quality, not quantity

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georgeOne of the things in your new book goes back to the crowd theme. It’s the quality, not the quantity, that matters.

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seth_godinExactly. What we’re seeing is there’s a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk, who has his own TV show about wine. Gary has a tribe. It’s only a couple of hundred thousand strong, so it’s tiny compared to what any TV network would want. But Gary has benefited enormously, both in terms of revenue and public appearances but also in terms of his impact on society and the people he wants to reach. It’s far more effective than if he had a spot on The Today Show.

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marylynnIn your book, you point out something about Gary that I thought was very interesting. What he does is narrate his tribe’s passion. He doesn’t push it on them; he just leads the passion.

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seth_godinThat’s right. Almost every tribe was there before you got there to lead it. Almost all the things that human beings want to do, they’ve already figured out. What they’ve been waiting for is someone to connect them and give them a voice. My friend, Jacqueline Novogratz, runs the Acumen Fund, a very important philanthropic venture out of New York. She has trouble finding people who all along believed there was a better solution to the developing world. Once she finds them, all she has to do is point them in the right direction and they’re eager to get on board. It’s not about persuading the undecided; it’s about connecting the committed.

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Seth is also the founder of Squidoo, where you can find a special page about Tribes.

Next time, we’ll continue our conversation with Seth. We’ll learn what pushed Seth to become a tribe leader. He’ll also tell us about the power of one. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00253-102908.mp3

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Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 2

Seth Godin on Tribes: Part 3