Monday, April 19, 2004

Stop clowning around

A lot of business blogs are carrying reports of Seth Godin' Fast Company article in the May 2004 issue (not yet available on line, but when it is, you will be able to access it from this table of contents. Seth's Blog explains that the editors at Fast Company refused to replace his normal stock press photo with the photo of him above with a red nose.

The red nose makes sense as this month's article directly addresses clowning around in the workplace. Consider this your executive summary (of a one-page article):

From the article . . .

Seth's 4 Traits of Clownhood:

1. Clowns ignore science. "Clowns refuse to measure their results, because measurement implies that they accept the reality of the outside world. Wishful thinking is not a replacement for the real world. Only clowns can get away with that."

2. Clowns don't plan ahead. "Clowns get big laughs from slamming into a brick wall . . ."

3. Clowns overreact to bad news (and good).

4. Clowns aren't very nice to each other. "Why is it so unusual to find a company where the boss cares for his employees?"

"If clownhood is our natural state . . . then the alternative must be the anti-clown. Success lies in rejecting your inner clown . . ."

"I think we ought to issue little red foam-rubber noses to everyone that reads . . . [Fast Company] magazine . . . whenever you're in a meeting and someone starts acting like a real clown, silently whip out the nose and put it on."

I love this article! If you love it too, go subscribe to Fast Company and go read Seth's blog. Want more information on how to change? Check out Seth's new book, Free Prize Inside. At the very least, get yourself a re foam rubber nose -- Purciful's Toys carries them in 3 sizes. And if you need an excuse other than this article to wear a nose when someone is acting like a clown, mark your calendars, the first week of August is National Clown Week.

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