Seth Godin on running for office-

Seth Godin is a blogger- only he has a million readers.

He’s taken his blog and turned it into books.

The current one on leadership, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us has been a top seller on Amazon.

He has an excerpt on his blog today:

Leadership is scarce because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.

The scarcity makes leadership valuable. If everyone tries to lead all the time, not much happens. It’s discomfort that creates the leverage that makes leadership worthwhile.

In other words, if everyone could do it, they would, and it wouldn’t be worth much.

It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.

It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.

It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.

It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.

If you’re not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it’s almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.

via Seth’s Blog: Thanks for leading.

I’m not running for office because someone put me up to it, nor because I believe myself to be ideally suited for the world of politics. I’m running, because I don’t scare easily, a comfortable with myself and what makes me tick, and because I strongly believe we need creative thinkers leading us, not puppets with strings.

The moment we start seeing people running, and winning, without having to sell out- my work will be done in the public arena, and I can get back to doing full-time what I love: graphic design, advertising, creating new media. In the meantime, in case most of you didn’t notice, had I not gone out and gotten my signatures (almost singlehandedly) you wouldn’t have a choice at all.

This is part of the dilemma of our political landscape. Not many of us feel OK standing up in front of strangers, challenging the status quo, championing ideas that might fail (or be laughed off). If I had a nickel for every joke about a mask or ninja, or $1000 for everyone who “got it” and understood what was going on that day in the commission chambers, I’d be rich with nickels.

Martin Sheen understood what I was doing that day. He told me over dinner that he thought it took more guts to go to that meeting and protest the secret meetings- than what he does (and he’s been arrested over 80 times protesting). The joy of winning five court cases didn’t equal the feeling I had when I left Martin that evening, after 3.5 hours of intelligent, insightful conversation about the human condition.

Running for office against the political machine is uncomfortable to say the least. I won’t go into the details of all the times I’ve been attacked- both physically and emotionally, over sticking my neck out and asking questions that we’re not supposed to ask. Some of my readers take great joy in pointing out my foibles. Yet, they keep coming back and reading more. I can’t even give a real number on how many people read this site- with it being republished on DaytonOS (so that you government folks don’t get in trouble for reading it at work), RSS feeds, and the pass around factor. However, I do know, it is well read by people in the know and those in power.

Writing these posts takes time. Running for office takes time. And we all know time is money- and, if there is one thing for sure- running for Dayton City Commission can’t be for the money (last I heard, it paid $36K a year- not bad for part-time work, but with the challenges facing us, we know that it will take more than part time to get things back on track.).

I’m not asking for sympathy from anyone. I chose this adventure, for better or worse. But, I do ask, just this once, for everyone who reads this post- to leave a comment, saying “I read”- and, you can use your real name, or an alias, a real e-mail or a placeholder, just to remind me why I do this (and, I can tell if someone is posting multiple-times under different names- so please don’t)-

because as Seth says: “because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to”… change.

And our City no longer can survive if we don’t.

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46 Responses

  1. Bob Mullins August 23, 2009 / 9:32 am
    I read.
  2. truddick August 23, 2009 / 9:35 am
    I read.  I keep telling myself to break the addiction.
  3. Larkin August 23, 2009 / 11:15 am
    and yes I said yes I read Yes.
    (with apologies yo James Joyce)
  4. Joe McKibben August 23, 2009 / 11:59 am
    I read.
  5. Amy C August 23, 2009 / 12:30 pm
    I read/
  6. Mike Bock August 23, 2009 / 12:30 pm
    David, My thought is that leadership in a democracy should center on making democracy work.  http://daytonos.com/?p=6386
    I think you could broaden your support by hammering on the theme of democracy.  There is a convincing and overwhelming case to be made that ours is a very weak democracy.    Our failing democracy is the fundamental problem, and is the source of most every other problem.   And this fundamental problem is not discussed nearly enough.  This is an issue, I feel, people are ready to respond to:  we are in the mess we are in because our democracy is failing us.  We need to elect people to government who see the vitalization of our democracy as their biggest priority.  Your campaign, it seems to me, would benefit from your making the case that Dayton democracy is weak and by then showing a plan of how  as city commissioner you would exercise leadership to vitalize democracy in the City of Dayton.
  7. Sue August 23, 2009 / 12:48 pm
    I read.
  8. Gene August 23, 2009 / 12:57 pm
    “Democracy is failing us.”

    Sure it is. Locally, Rhine for mayor. Seriously, a guy sitting at the end of the bar would be better.

    Obama? GWB? Democracy has failed us for a long time. We elect people bc they are popular or they are the type of guy I could have a beer with….. please. Two options, in most cases, is not enough. We have and uniformed public, and most don’t care bc most if not all politicians are liars. And we wonder why we get crap. Round and round we go, but when you have people who vote based on skin color we can’t expect great results.

  9. Mike Katchmar August 23, 2009 / 12:57 pm
    I read.
  10. Jules August 23, 2009 / 12:57 pm
    I read :)
  11. Pam August 23, 2009 / 1:23 pm
    I don’t read.
    :-P
  12. Mark August 23, 2009 / 1:41 pm
    I read. I don’t always agree with you, but I admire your guts.
  13. Marianne Stanley August 23, 2009 / 2:22 pm
    I read……..and take great comfort that you are out there swinging on behalf of all of us!
  14. Brad August 23, 2009 / 2:45 pm
    yep
  15. Bill Daniels (pizzabill) August 23, 2009 / 3:24 pm
    I read (but on the longer posts, my lips get tired).
  16. Civil Servants are People, too August 23, 2009 / 3:40 pm
    I read, for better or worse.
     
     
  17. Teri Lussier August 23, 2009 / 4:00 pm
    I read. Hell yes I read.
  18. Theresa Gasper (aka tg) August 23, 2009 / 5:40 pm
    I read and sometimes I write. And sometimes what I write makes sense.
  19. SheliaO August 23, 2009 / 7:08 pm
    Add me to the list that has an addiction of reading your posts.  I don’t always write because I don’t think I could add any to the discussion, but your opinions always give me something to think about.  Thanks for taking your time to do that.
  20. Mitch K August 23, 2009 / 8:14 pm
    I read!
  21. John Ise August 23, 2009 / 8:58 pm
    I peruse
  22. Sue S. August 23, 2009 / 9:06 pm
    I read.
  23. Gary Leitzell August 23, 2009 / 9:41 pm
    I read and will go so far as to say that Dayton NEEDS business minded people in city hall.
  24. Melissa August 23, 2009 / 9:53 pm
    I read.
  25. ShortWest Rick August 23, 2009 / 9:59 pm
    David, I don’t miss a day. You are on my RSS feed, as soon as you post Esrati lights up on my screen.
    -rick
  26. Brian August 23, 2009 / 9:59 pm
    I read and often agree.
  27. Ryan August 23, 2009 / 10:27 pm
    I read, I think, sometimes I strongly agree.
  28. Jim Crotty August 23, 2009 / 11:00 pm
    I read, and I like I said before David, you’ve got guts. All those out there that try to pigeon hole and label you somehow always have a fascination with what you have to say. Perhaps because deep down they know they won’t find it anywhere else but are afraid to admit it. The country clubbers on the right, the local Democrat machine on the left. They both mock you but they always seem so interested in what you have to say. That’s because you have something they don’t – guts.
  29. Carli Dixon August 23, 2009 / 11:11 pm
    I read
  30. Shannon August 24, 2009 / 7:48 am
    I read
  31. Bridget August 24, 2009 / 8:14 am
    I read several times a day. I don’t always agree but I truly appreciate where your heart is.
  32. Deborah Cool-Llorens August 24, 2009 / 9:21 am
    David, I read every day! I truly hope that you and my husband, Gary Leitzell, will win this upcoming election. You are a visionary!
  33. Matt August 24, 2009 / 9:48 am
    I read frequently
  34. David Lauri August 24, 2009 / 11:40 am
    A recent comment here confirms my suspicion that some people who talk about the need to protect “traditional marriage” really do not mean what they say.  Of course we’ve all probably said things we didn’t really mean, but is that something one running for office should do?  (And no, it’s not David E to whom I refer.)
  35. Emily August 24, 2009 / 12:44 pm
    I read!
  36. Scott August 24, 2009 / 4:17 pm
    I read, from a distance.
  37. Tim Bailey August 24, 2009 / 4:59 pm
    I read. Disagree with many of your ideas…but still read. I feel that it is absolutely ridiculous to hold an opinion and not allow it to be challenged. David, you have the inate ability to either reinforce my stance or give me the insight to re-examine my opinion. Similar to Dan Brown’s novels, it is not what you are writing and the conclusions you draw, but the fact that uncomfortable subjects are brought to light and discussion is fostered. Thanks!
     
  38. David Esrati August 24, 2009 / 6:38 pm

    @Tim Bailey- I used to have as a tagline- “making people think”

    And- that is the main reason I write- and share, because it makes me think too.  And, often, I learn a lot from the comments (esp. from John Ise and Jeffery – who often provide awesome links).

    Right now there is an e-mail discussion going on about the prosecutors office- it’s all hidden behind e-mail addresses and has limited interactive capability. If it was done on a blog- we’d be much further along.

    I appreciate all of you who have added your “I reads”- I think there are a lot more… and I’m glad to see some of you for the first time. I’m working on the next level of interactive site for the voters in Dayton. We’ll see if it ups the level of conversation to a new level.

  39. BC September 7, 2009 / 8:16 pm
    I Read.

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