“Resist Your Genius,” Says the Lizard Brain

March 5, 2010

“At the age of four, you were an artist. And at seven, you were a poet. And by the time you were twelve, if you had a lemonade stand, you were an entrepreneur. Of course you can do something that matters. I guess I’m wondering if you want to.” –Seth Godin

I can’t seem to put down this book. It is intriguing and activating. It shows us why the organizational model of the past no longer works and why we must decide to be Linchpins in order to connect with our inner genius and artist (yes, our inner child) and become indispensable, despite the economic woes we are experiencing. However, as Godin clearly asks above, “Do you want to be indispensable?” It is not that you can’t—we all can. But, it is clearly a choice.

So what about this outdated organizational model? Why doesn’t it work?
According to Godin: “The system we grew up with is based on a simple formula: Do your job. Show up. Work hard. Listen to the boss. Stick it out. Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded.” Sound familiar? The new system is different. It is one that creates leaders who live without a map. The new system “Requires a different attitude. It requires you to be a linchpin. Linchpins are the essential building blocks of tomorrow’s high-value organizations.”

But, again, it is clear that becoming a Linchpin is a choice. You must decide that you want to go against the grain and embrace (or find) your inner voice, your genius, your desire to be an ARTIST, to be REMARKABLE, and to be generous with your ideas and your self. Linchpins don’t have job titles or descriptions; they do what is necessary to get the desired results; they look for a true win-win… always. Linchpins “Leverage something internal, not external, to create a position of power and value.”

Are you ready to make that internal SHIFT to become indispensable?

If you answered “yes”, then you must shut off your lizard brain! Godin explains that our internal resistance (or lizard brain) prevents us from developing those skills which make us indispensable.

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny. The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry. The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks, because status in the tribe is essential to its survival. A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that’s all it can do. All the squirrel has a lizard brain.”

To some extent, our lizard brain has been developed by the “old system,” which, again, told us that we must find any job,  shut up and smile, don’t do anything other than what you are paid to do, fight for your life, and forget the artist inside! The lizard brain is a learned behavior we need to break to become a Linchpin.

So while I was reading Linchpin I couldn’t help but find a correlation to one of the episodes of Spongebob Squarepants (that’s right!). My children love Spongebob and I have no choice but to sit with them and become engrossed in it. So, in this particular scene, the one-inch (with a powerful voice) Plankton takes over Spongebob’s brain and is forcing him to walk against his will (akin to a Factory manager treating his employees like machines) to the Krusty Krab to grab a Krabby Patty so Plankton can ID the Patty’s secret recipe.

But, Spongebob, who is the very best at what he does (Krabby Patty fry cook) and is Mr. Krab’s most dedicated employee, refuses to be controlled and entices Plankton out of his brain with the simply irresistible description and smell of the Krabby Patty.

Plankton (the weak old system) will never win. Spongebob’s love for his work, for his ART (the Krabby Patty) always will win.

Keep watching episodes of Spongebob and you’ll find that he has made himself indispensable. He doesn’t believe in mediocrity, is committed to his purpose and passion, and in Bikini Bottom (where he lives), Spongebob is a Linchpin. In his particular role he is REMARKABLE. He is talked about and his product is wanted. He’s not just a fry cook, he is an artist.

What would make you impossibly good at your job?

So let’s make this relevant right now. Answer the question above and decide to take one step this week to shrink our lizard brain tendencies and increase our linchpin attributes. Take action to tap our inner genius and show the world more of who we truly are.

Adios lizard brain…hello inner child….hello Artist!
You know, I think I may change my job title to ARTIST! The lizard brains may resist….but we know why.

Have a genius week,

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

6 Responses to ““Resist Your Genius,” Says the Lizard Brain”

  1. Mom Says:

    I’m liking this book…

    Thanks Mo!

  2. Sheri Maass Says:

    Great blog!!

    I like the reference to Spongebob 🙂 That always makes for an interesting story.

    I was just looking for a new book to read – and this one is now on my list.

    Thanks so much!
    Sheri Maass

    • Being En Pointe Says:

      Hi Sheri! Thanks for your comment. Yes, Spongebob has a great way of lightening things up. I’m always up for some great humor. I think you’ll really enjoy the book. 🙂

  3. I like this post – you’re spot on about the Spongebob reference. He really is THE linchpin of the Krusty Crab burger bar.

    I’ve been playing around with techniques for silencing the lizard brain and recently published a step-by-step (my latest blog post).

    This was concise and insightful. Thanks for the great post

    – Peter

    • Being En Pointe Says:

      Hi Peter! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m happy you enjoyed my post. I, too, look forward to reading the techniques you feel can quiet the lizard brain! 🙂 Stay in touch.

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