The Tyranny of Perfect, The Possibility of Better, and The Magic of Good Enough: Applying Seth Godin’s Thoughts On Marketing To School In 2019

I recently finished Seth Godin’s most recent book This Is Marketing.

In it, he provides a wonderful blend of technical, inspirational, and practical insight into marketing and human behavior.

His thinking is so far beyond mine, that no description of mine could possibly do him justice. So, I’ll just share what one chapter made me think of: School in 2019.

In one of the final chapters, he discusses the Tyranny of Perfect. He states that:

Perfect closes the door. It asserts that we’re done, that this is the best we can do. Worse, perfect forbids us to try.”

Too many times in education, we close the door on ideas and grassroots initiative because the plan is not yet “perfect.” Nothing in life is perfect, so why do we pretend school will be?

Seth goes on to talk about the Possibility of Better:

Better opens the door…Better invites us in and gives us a chance to seek dramatic improvement on behalf of those we seek to serve.”

In order to see “better” we must ask ourselves: is this decision for students? Or is this decision for me?

Most of what we do in education is not for students. It is for adults.

I believe every educator knows “better” is out there. We just have to take a deep breath, swallow our fear and pride, and open the door.

Finally, he mentions the Magic of Good Enough:

Good enough isn’t an excuse or a shortcut. Good enough leads to engagement…Ship your work. It’s good enough. Then make it better.

In 2019, we HAVE to try something new in schools.

Will it be perfect? No.

Will it be better? Most likely, yes. But we will go with a conservative maybe.

Will it be good enough? 100% yes.

Why? Because “good enough” brings us all to the table. Good enough invites and cultivates empathy. Good enough shows students that it’s TRULY about THEIR education and not our ego.

Anything less, just won’t ever be…good enough.

Published by Jason Vest

Middle school educator in Henrico County (just outside of Richmond, VA) - 2018 iNACOL Innovator Award Winner - Host of the AfterEd Podcast, focused on individuals around the world that are challenging the status quo in education - Learning should be fun and experiences should raise the bar and the self-awareness of the individual. Outside of the classroom, my passion and focus is on helping all stakeholders reimagine education take action to bring innovation into and out of our schools in RVA, Henrico, and across the Commonwealth. #ReimagineRVA 

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