Leadership Lessons from The Icarus Deception

By Rebecca Self
Rebecca Self

A few weeks ago, TNM coaches were sharing and discussing links to two new videos for Seth Godin's book, The Icarus Deception.


The Icarus Deception from Squarespace on Vimeo.

It was exciting for us to see the clips because these people? They're like the Lost Members of Our Tribe. They're speaking our language!

At TNM coaching, we don't just espouse these ideas, we live these tenets. They're what brought us together as a group from all over the world. It's in the way our work as teams is organized.  We don't just believe it's possible; we live this way every single day.

What the videos don't say is: the Icarus Deception doesn't apply solely to entrepreneurs; not everyone wants to run off to start his or her own business.  So what can our clients, what can you take from the movement these videos articulate so clearly?

Megatrends & Leadership Lessons

Here are the trends so global, so significant, organizations the world over must learn, grow, and change to incorporate them:

1. People want to make a difference. It's human; we want to make a contribution.
People want their best work to be seen or heard, acknowledged and valued. Make sure people have the right work for them. Notice peoples' contributions, even the smallest ones.

2. It's possible to work happy.
t surprises us that in this day and age people still get up and go to work thinking it's a necessary evil that must be endured. I'm working with a leader right now who believes we must suffer and slog through soul-deflating drudgery because that's what work is. No wonder morale in the company is so low. There are too many choices in the world today for that, and life is way too short. Old precepts of what work is simply no longer apply.

3. It's time for creativity, for innovation.
Most large organizations are not changing fast enough. Retention and engagement, productivity and results shrink as a result. It's time for large organizations to retool, to go from working precepts designed for an industrial age and a manfacturing economy, to an age where workers can follow their passion online and create movements and incomes themselves. Who will you be to keep your best people engaged, contributing, fulflled and innovative?

4. Connection and communication are imperative.
New media technologies mean that both within your organization and outside it, people connect, communicate, forms new groups and aliances and can share ideas more than ever before. For every organization, feeding and forging those connections and creative exchanges should be a priority.

What should leaders do?

  • Highlight peoples' work.
  • Allow expression.
  • Encourage crazy passion.
  • Help people become comfortable with risk.
  • Create an environment that's a lab ready for experimentation.
  • Ask: "How could we...?" and "What are you making...?"
  • Know what the people around you consider "Good Days."

We'd love to work with you, your teams, and your leaders to ensure that across your organization your top talent is engaged, that you're changing to keep pace with these global trends, and that, at the end of the day, on a Good Day, your people can say, "I have made my art," or "I have done my part.