Poke the Box by Seth Godin

I bought Poke the Box after hearing Godin speak at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit back in August. I still can’t quite pinpoint why, but I think he’s fascinating. Maybe it’s the thick, plastic-framed glasses and the bald head? Or maybe it’s his willingness to be really frank and ask hard questions that other people don’t want to ask. Maybe it’s because he’s so confident (or arrogant?).

I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything, but reading his blog and book has been worth my time. Enough so that I want to read his other books.

At only 83 pages, the book was an easy, short read. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the book other than that I think Godin is right—we spend too much time not doing. His main messages in Poke the Box? Take action, take risks. Don’t wait for someone to tell you to do it—pick yourself.

Rather than spend a lot of time giving my opinion on a book you already know I liked, I’ll just leave you with some great quotes than can apply to just about everyone:

  • “Excellence isn’t about working extra hard to do what you’re told. It’s about taking the initiative to do work you decide is worth doing” (p.34).
  • “Wasting the opportunity both degrades your own ability to do contribute and, more urgently, takes something away from the rest of us” (p.64).
  • “If you’re not making a difference, it’s almost certainly because you’re afraid” (p.76).
  • “Sure, ideas that spread, win, but ideas that don’t get spoken always fail” (p. 79).