A Seat At The Table

from Seth’s Blog

Short-term profits are a lousy way to build a sustainable community.

There’s always a shortcut, a rule to be bent, a way to make some more money now at the expense of the people around us.

The counterbalance to selfish Ayn-Randian greed is cultural belonging.

“No,” the community says, “we’re not proud of what you did, and you’re not welcome here.”

People like us do things like this.

More here.

Posted in Ideas and tagged , , , .


  1. More than anything, I wanted a seat at the table.
    Wanting a seat at the table is the reason I transferred to Seton Hall, it’s the reason I tried out for the cheer team. Making myself better and putting myself in positions for success fuels most of, if not all of the decisions of things I do in life.
    I could’ve stayed at my old university, but I wasn’t growing there. In that community, I didn’t see myself belonging. I was excelling. Getting great grades and involved in a lot, but that was a shortcut to the short-term success of graduating at the top of my class in undergrad, getting mediocre connections leaving college and not having bonds that would last beyond the four years that I was spending at that institution. I felt nowhere near welcome by the community that I was in. I tried to be proud of myself, but I felt that my sense of accomplishment was met with glares from my peers and disapproval from the administration at my old university.
    The change was frightening. It took endless nights of prayers and pleading, grappling with my faith. I didn’t sleep the night before I moved into Cabrini. Part of me nervous about the new community I was going to join, but also excited. I was getting a seat at the table. I was ready to do big things, work hard and making things better.
    I invested in the community once I got to Seton Hall. I worked hard and walked on to the cheerleading team as a junior. It was no small feat to make that team. I knew being a part of that community was going to be worth every tear shed over making the decision to transfer, every ounce of sweat in the gym and every sleepless night worrying about making friends. At every game, I was able to go running out of the tunnel knowing that I finally had a seat at the table and the seat was met with the roar of the crowd and some of the best memories of my life. A table that I was yearning to sit at for so long.

  2. It has become vary apparent to me that in this world greed and selfishness are what most people know. It has turned anyone who studies and finally knows the facts to see that this world is riddled with some very toxic communities and strategies. In business I have seen how some companies have only ever measured success by innovation, however after that one moment of innovation they stopped seeking a way to improve the lives of their consumers and now instead see people as numbers. To some the customer is just another number that they could put on a cost sheet. The only thing that matters to some is the bottom line, trying to come up with ways to make sure their pockets grow. This is the selfishness that some say we do not need. It could be argued that this selfishness has been able to perpetuate a cycle of competition and keeps capitalism growing. The public still holds good moral values and has the power to make any business go out of business. For instance when people had heard what facebook was doing they all were angered and disappointed, now this hasn’t really taken away from their user base in fact they still have 1.5 billion active users. However their reputation has taken a hit as some would rather not work at all than to work for someone like Facebook. Imagine that kids going straight out of college in need of a job saying no to six figures. It astounds me at how much the publics moral good can keep anyone in check. That doesn’t take away from the fact that some business will not try and find the shortcut or bend the rules a little to be more successful. It is going to happen the question becomes on whether these people are going to be caught and when they do how are they going to try and save face. We all know they will only ever be sorry for getting caught. Then there is the issue on how we as a society can determine what good is, it seems obvious doesn’t it when we think of what good and bad are. The moral dilemma will come as we keep going through time and how mailable our values are. Maybe in the next couple of years what we think is good will be bad and vice versa. That maybe thinking to far ahead but you can never go wrong in thinking about the macro of it all. All of this because we want to be able to have a seat at the table.

  3. The “seat at the table” post is definitely interesting to me because I find in the business world many applications of the loss of community as a result of taking the easy way to acquire profit. I always believed that we should strive for success and economic stability through morally correct and ethically correct means, and that we should not sacrifice our own dignity to achieve goals we set out for. It is often the case where we see many billionaires who grew up in poor conditions become the people they loathed when they were younger, those who did not pay their fair share of taxes and did not engage in philanthropic giving back to their community. For example, Jeff Bezos did not grow up with anywhere close to the wealth he had now. He built for himself a solid business model, poured in a lot of risk into his business, Amazon, but was limited in assets. Now, in the present day, Amazon has engaged in shady business practices such as not paying taxes, unlawful surveillance, or unfair labor practices. Jeff Bezos exemplified the American dream, and because of his business practices has turned into a villain in the public light. However, I do believe that our community is good at finding its heroes and those who do in fact give back to their community and build up their businesses in an ethical manner. For example, the late Nipsey Hussle(from my hometown of Los Angeles) was often ostracized by the media for his prior gang-affiliations and for the stigma behind the rap genre. However, he built his clothing brand “Crenshaw” by hiring people from where he grew up, opened up a utilities store for poor families to acquire products they needed for their home, and engaged in community building programs that enabled kids from the inner city to learn about money investment and lean important computer programming lessons. To his community in Los Angeles, he was a hero. When his death happened just about a month ago, the rest of the country was opened up to his philanthropic efforts and his investing of the profit he made from music into his community. He was someone who always had a “Seat at the Table” in his community, and was appropriately championed for doing so.

  4. A seat at the table. This article speaks to the true role of community. Living in a society built on everyone trying so hard to have an image that impresses others creates a community built on fake images and people. Now of days its so common for people to judge others based on first looks at what they are wearing, where they come from, and what they stand for. This is an example of what this article speaks on as short-term profits. I constantly see people buying unnecessary items and doing silly actions to maintain this social image. This to me is a short-term profit. The satisfaction you get from a like or share on a post you made on social media means so much to people for a second. This is people trying so hard for “a seat at the table.” I’m sure everyone had that group of people in high school maybe even college that they looked to as the popular crowd that they wanted to be apart of. And unfortunately, many people waste their time and money on trying to be apart of the crowd and follow what’s “cool” for people to do. Attempting to make these changes and be apart of the crowd may work for some people and make them happy for the time being but this in itself is only a short-term profit. Guaranteed those people you long so bad to be like and be friends will not be around after a short amount of time. People need to be themselves more often and accept who they truly are. Its much easier said than done but to invest in yourself and be apart of a community that truly accepts you for you is much more rewarding than taking these shortcuts to change yourself into someone you’re not. Being yourself and making friends with people who like you for you is what earning a seat at the table truly means. The importance of being yourself far outweighs any short-term profit, a seat at the table will come. Below is a link to the importance of being yourself. https://medium.com/@jeffthewriter/the-importance-of-being-yourself-8aad9ccda2f8

  5. Seth’s Blog post discusses the impact of individuals and corporations that are narrow-minded – not necessarily in a sense of what they do, but rather in the impact they hope to have. This article discusses the short-term, and how in the short-term individuals look to leverage others and bend the rules in order to make temporary gains, whether those be personal or monetary. I thought this article was very powerful because, though it presents information I’m sure many if not all of us have heard before, it is so increasingly important in a world that is moving at such a fast pace – this post really helps us realize that we need to slow down.

    Picking up on the topic of the rapidly changing environment and economy that we are currently in, it is easy to get caught up and thrown off guard by the technological disruption that seems to be happening so regularly. I constantly voice that individuals need to adapt to the constant change that the economy faces in order to keep up – however, these changes cannot occur overnight, and in a sense I feel that is what this article is speaking too. If you lose your job tomorrow, no one expects you to have created your own company over night and begin making profits merely the next day. That’s absurd! What people should do, and what really everyone needs to start evaluating is what is beneficial to society – what does society need. Because that’s the thing with disruption and automation – they’re making society better off and getting rid of past ways of doing things because they’re simply unneeded. Society, especially as we continue on into the future, needs companies, ideas, goods, and services of value. And the thing is, value is not built in the short term – but instead in the long term. It’s like creating a good reputation – it takes a long while to create a meaningful one. The same goes for business – any business that is in it just for the profit and that does not care about its consumers will not prosper. It is the businesses who look to provide value to their respective consumers’ lives that do the best – and oftentimes, that value takes a while to become transparent to consumers – but when it does the lasting impression on custmers will be so much more impactful than the short term profits that could have been derived.

  6. I feel like it is human nature for us to look for shortcuts. Why would I want to work hard when I can do less and get the same outcome? It only makes sense right? This is the mindset most people have when it comes to certain things but when it comes to a set of special cases, taking the easy way out isn’t the best option. Doing things the hard way often leads to a better job done. I could lazily hose down my car with and call it a day or, I could take my time soaping up the car, wash the insides and outsides, then dry it with towels for the best shine. Sometimes when taking shortcuts we often make mistakes that take away from the quality of the outcome. I could do my own presentation and rehearse my speech or I could have someone else do it and I look like a fool when I can’t understand what they wrote. In general when you think of short term solutions often the long term problem comes back to bite you in the ass later on. Often more times than not, it is way more beneficial to bite the bullet and do something the hard way so you won’t have to deal with the fall out in the future. A mindset like this would guarantee success for anyone willing to do hard work. Sometimes doing things the easy way just doesn’t pay off.

  7. We live in a world where money means everything, and sometimes it seems as though it does not matter how one gets this money. You hear stories of people who come from nothing and create some extremely successful business. However, you also hear of people who come from money, have many scandals, and get to their success much easier than those who have had to work hard for it. In the article “A seat at the table,” written by Seth Godin, it is discussed who deserves a seat at the table. Should someone who has been handed everything get a seat? Should someone who has worked for every single dollar get a seat at the table? There are so many different kinds of businesses out there. There are stores like Old Navy who sell affordable clothing, and there are brands like Cristian Louboutin who sell expensive items. There are companies like Habitat for Humanity who are charitable, and companies like local restaurants that are not. “There’s always a shortcut, a rule to be bent, a way to make some more money now at the expense of the people around us” (Godin 2). What is the right way to do things in the business world?

    I feel as though everyone deserves a seat at the table. Everyone has a different path, a different story, a different way that they have created their business. No matter what, I feel as though everyone has their own success, and everyone’s success is not defined the same way. Everyone deserves a seat at the table because no matter how one got to where they got, they did so. Unfortunately, although it seems like money is everything, there is hope by businesses’ who do not define their success by money, who do things the right way with no shortcuts, and those who have the right reasons for their businesses. These people deserve a seat at the head of the table.

  8. In my opinion, it is human nature for us to look for the easiest way out or the way that requires the least amount of effort. So why would I want to work hard when I can put in less effort and get the same results. Seth states “There’s always a shortcut, a rule to be bent, a way to make some more money now at the expense of the people around us.” This statement really connected with me because going through school you are always tempted with the option to use cheating as a shortcut and bend that rules. You will bend the rules for the people that you consider to be in “circle” and even if they are your friends now sometime down the road at least half of them will put themselves in front of you when they are given a chance for money. These people are using you as short-term profit and you have to find people that are looking for a long-term investment and will be there through the ups and downs. He also uses the statement “People like us do things like this.” When it comes to this statement its sad to think about that some people would drop low enough to uses this as an excuse to not better themselves and fall into all the negative stereotypes. From there he goes into how it is the community’s role to establish what “things like this” are and that is true because people always look up to the people that are around them so if the “community” is doing all these bad things then all this kids that look up them are going to follow in their footsteps. Also, there should be standard in a “community” to make sure that everyone is living up to their highest standard.

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