Dan’s Business Book Review: The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

This is another worthy title by the great Seth Godin. I am often asked why I am so enamored of this writer. And my answer is always the same: He writes the best and most common-sense books on sales, marketing, and strategy, and everybody knows, I love common sense.

First, let’s get this out of way. The Icarus Deception is actually about the fear of success, of flying on waxed wings like Icarus, too close to the sun. The heat of the sun melts the wings and Icarus goes tumbling down. In this book, Godin urges us to dare to make art. And to Mr. Godin, we are all capable of making art, even our own art that no one understands.

He urges us not to listen to the critics but to follow our own instincts and creativity. He wants us to lead, not follow. He wants us to defy convention and go our own way.

In the book, he cites examples of poets, writers, and business leaders who have chosen to go their own way despite the scared ridicule of our peer group.

He urges us to be brave and not only invent but implement new ways of doing things—especially ways that have never been tried before.

He talks about fighting fear and embracing failure as a learning experience along the way to finding our own art. He claims that nothing has ever been invented by playing it safe. You probably remember that old line, “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” Well, in Godin’s world, they should have been fired. They should have been fired for playing it safe. They should have been fired for not finding a better solution and they should have been fired for being afraid of being fired.

The author urges us to invest in our journey, to fight for what we believe is right with all of our might. Always be looking for a better and more innovative way to change ourselves, our company, and the world.

If you need examples, you need only consider these names: Jobs, Bezos, Musk, Einstein, DaVinci, Rembrandt, Chaplin, Jerry Lewis, Martha Stewart, and Oprah. Here, you have the right examples of people who not only dared to dream but took that dream into the reality zone.

This is more than a book; it is an intellectual and inspirational stimulant. Read it, digest it, and read it again until you catch the spirit, and this will prove to be the best investment in yourself you’ve ever made.

The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

Author: Seth Godin

Copyright: 2012

Publisher: Portfolio, a division of Penguin Books

Pages: 224

Price: $24.95