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Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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THE DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




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« (What you get) - (What you were hoping for) | Main | An endless series of difficult but achievable hills »

The waffle paradox

WaffleOne way for a candidate to change the conversation around her candidacy: have her followers pelt the opposition with waffles at every public appearance. Eggos in particular are lightweight and their shape makes them easy to toss.

Particularly in primaries, simplicity and certainty are rewarded. The waffling candidate, the one who hesitates to give a clear yes or no answer to every question is seen as weak.

(Worth noting that the word "waffling" didn't start appearing in books much until after the 1960 elections).

Of course, this post isn't about politics at all. Customers and employees and vendors and regulators almost always prefer simplicity and certainty.

There are two ways to begin an answer to most questions we face in organizations:

"It's simple" and

"It's complicated."

Both are usually true. At 10,000 feet, most challenges are simple. But actually making something work is quite complicated.

Nuance is the sign of an intelligent observer. Nuance shows restaint and maturity and an understanding of the underlying mechanics of whatever problem we're wrestling with. After all, if the solution was simple, we would have solved it already.

On the other hand, resorting to nuance early and often can also be a sign of fear, of an unwillingness to go out on a limb and make a difference. Hence the reactions of boards hiring consultants and CEOs, or of passionate primary voters. "Don't tell me it's complicated. Just show me the guts to make something happen."

My vote: your goals and your strategy must be simple. You must have passion and certainty in order to make a difference as a leader. Your tactics, on the other hand, should be layered, multi-dimensional and reflect the patience of someone who cares about reaching a goal.

When Howard Schultz talks about coffee or Jill Greenberg talks about lighting or Cory Booker talks about education, they can impatiently demand clear and simple results. At the same time, successful leaders see the nuance they'll need in executing to get there.

The paradox is that the simplicity we often seek in search of solutions rarely leads to the patient leadership we need to get them.

The irony is not lost on me... the decision on when to be bold is a nuanced one.

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