Seth Godin on Appropriately Managing Expectations

this might workSeth Godin advertised it as a “book that could kill a small mammal.” As soon as I read the description, I didn’t care what was written in it, I needed to have it. The book was part of the Kickstarter campaign to publish Godin’s new book: The Icarus Deception (the book hasn’t publicly dropped yet, but I will give you a copy… keep reading).

Last week, I heard our postal worker grumbling under his breath as he delivered a box to our home… in it were a few copies of the next book, along with the mammal killer: all 19 pounds of it. As I sit at my desk, contemplating just how I will read this book without getting a hernia, I must admit that I am fully satisfied that I am indeed in possession of a book that could kill a small mammal.

Seth Godin is a master marketer. If he writes a book, people know that even if it has a bright green cover, it will be good. If he promises a book that can kill a small mammal, the lives of the squirrels and possums in your neighborhood are at risk. It took Godin years to become a master marketer… years of putting out high quality materials and consistently delivering on his promises. While he has developed a near-fanatical fan base, willing to pay thousands to see him speak, that can change with only one or two poor products. Were he to mail it in on a book, or deliver half of what he promised, the reputation that he worked to develop would be all for naught.

In the next few weeks our churches will be seeing the seasonal influx of guests and first time attenders. My prayer for all church leaders this time of year is that we will fulfill all the promises that we make to get people in the doors, and that we will continue to fulfill the promises that we make in order to get people to come back. May the values we communicate be values that we live out, as opposed to aspirational values that we hope to achieve. May people come away having heard the story of Jesus in a way that connects with them anew… and may we see much fruit throughout the Kingdom.

Does YOUR church deliver on its promises?

I mentioned that I have four extra copies of Seth Godin’s new book The Icarus Deception to give away… want one, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Subscribe (or be subscribed to) my email list (click here to do it).
  2. Leave a comment on this page.
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I will pick four winners at random on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at noon eastern.


About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.

  • Brandon Moore

    Send me a copy!

  • Chet

    Once again, you capture my attention. I mean I have been reasonably successful killing larger mammals with my bow and arrow, and gun. I have less experience with small mammals. Does the book include good recipes for cooking small mammals?

  • Michelle

    Done and done! A copy of Seth Godin’s new book would be the awesomest Christmas surprise, ever! =)

  • bill pitts

    Would love to win a copy of this! Thanks for the chance, Matt!

  • David Treloar

    On the one hand, you are treading on the issue of Branding. My favorite definition of brand: “the set of promises a business makes to its stakeholders”. Godin’s brand is wisdom in a provocative package. The question for churches: what promises are we making to OUR stakeholders?

    On the other hand, Godin also maintains a policy of “good enough to ship”! I think that the lesson is to brand with excellence, but not get caught up in perfectionsim…