Seth Godin and Bo Burlingham on being famous to the family

By famous, I means admired, trusted, given the benefit of the doubt. By famous, I mean seen as irreplaceable or best in the world.

Here’s how to tell if you’re famous: If I ask someone in your community to name the person who is known for X, will they name you? If I ask about which store or freelancer is the best place, hands down, to get Y, will they name you? If we played 20 questions, could I guess you?

Being famous to the family is far more efficient than being famous to everyone.

Seth Godin – Famous to the Family

You’re building an organisation. You want to make a name for yourself. What sort of name? You want to be famous. Famous to who?

In Small Giants Bo Burlingham desribes focusing on

… companies that were admired and emulated in their own industries. I wanted companies that had the respect of those who might otherwise be their harshest critics, namely their peers and competitors.

Some of the companies had achieved a modicum of fame, usually because they had a well-known product. Most were famous only to those they worked with or competed against.

Bo BurlinghamSmall Giants

I’d take “famous to the family” over just “famous” any day of the week – or any day my head is screwed on right.

Famous to:

  • The people who work there and their families;
  • Suppliers and partners;
  • Customers or clients – and anyone else interested in the thing you do;
  • Competitors and complements.*

What would it take for your organisation to be the one everyone thinks of when they’re asked for a recommendation?

What would it take for your employees to rave to their friends about the great place they work, and the great people they work with and for?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...