Is Your One BIG THING a Plus

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Seth Godin’s posting on “Fixing The One Big Thing” offers a simple but powerful message (but then would you expect less from Seth?): if your one big thing is really and truly part of what makes you successful, keep it; otherwise dump it. He gives two wonderful examples: Joe Biden and DiFara’s Pizza in NY. Biden’s long-windedness is his one big thing while 90 minutes to prepare their pizza is DiFara’s. Complaints are lodged about both. The difference is that for Joe it is a detriment because he loses listeners and draws criticism. But for DiFara, the complaints are just grumblings about waiting and without the wait, it would be just normal. If they changed their formula, customers wouldn’t complain or come.

The tough part is figuring out if the one big thing in your organization (or yourself) is a ‘Biden’ or a ‘DiFara.’ One way is to simply change it or eliminate it and see what happens. So Joe could for example as Seth’s suggests carry a timer and cut his speech and see if he gets better reaction. An annual chapter event that has become stagnant can be eliminated and replaced with something else. A case in point, one of our sister chapter had built its success on hosting dinner meetings in exclusive places so members could enjoy fine dining at a more reasonable prices. The events became their big thing. And they grew old over time and began looking a bit like a clique. So they’re changing and they are seeing success.

Do you have a ‘Biden’ or a ‘DiFara’ thing?

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.