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Ignore Everybody April 12, 2010

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Books, Odds and Ends, Reviews.

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to CreativityIt’s only fairly recently that I caught on to Hugh MacLeod and Gapingvoid (because, apparently, I live under a rock). In fact, what got me curious was seeing his contribution to What Matters Now, which led me to his site and, thereafter, his book Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity.

Had I known that his one-pager in What Matters Now (which, incidentally, also appears in Seth Godin’s Linchpin) was a succinct summary of Ignore Everybody, I may not have bought the book. It even turns out there’s an earlier manifesto covering the same ground available on Change This. Heck, the blog post that spawned Ignore Everybody is itself openly available on Gapingvoid.

But had I known any of that, and stupidly decided not to get my own copy of Ignore Everybody, then I would have missed out on one of the most important books I’ve ever been privileged to read.

I suspect that process of going through these earlier drafts in preparing Ignore Everybody helped crystallized MacLeod’s thoughts about creativity, personal motivation and leadership that are essential to any professional today worthy of that name. The observations MacLeod makes are acute, sometimes cynical, oftentimes humorous but inspired (and inspiring), overall. I dare say, correct, too. For me, it was a wake up call for the things I have been doing right about my work and life, as well as many things I can be doing better. That, I think, is why this book is very relevant.

Sure, I think it a pity that MacLeod offers some commentary on socializing, sex and dating via several of the cartoons throughout the book. While these (strangely enough) make sense, I’d argue that the book would have been better without them. But what do you expect from a guy who writes a book called Ignore Everybody? And can anyone really respect a guy who doesn’t follow his own advice?

Didn’t think so.



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