Currently Reading: Invisibles

Amazon recommendations can be wonderful things. This is one that is certainly working so far.

Telling the stories of many of the highly skilled people who by doing their job well become invisible it provides an antidote to the self-promotion and ‘platform’ building all around. [And yes even by blogging about it I recognise a level of irony!]

As David Zweig researched this group he began noticing similar characteristics:

  • ambivalence towards recognition
  • meticulousness
  • savouring responsibility

Not exactly things that tend to characterise most of the ‘5 tips’ ‘6 ways’ etc articles that populate most of our twitter feeds (and I’m guilty of retweeting!) And not characteristics that our culture tends to promote.

Our ever more fragmented news and entertainment fosters an increasingly personalised experience, which research suggests implicitly reinforces a solipsistic attitude. Most of all, as we continue to develop and live through our online versions of ourselves – forever crafting our various social media profiles and avatars – there is the growing notion that we, as individuals, are actually brands to promote. this cacophony of self-importance, of personalised electronic vuvuzelas, has made us like that annoying kid at the front of the class who keeps raising his hand, moaning with distress as he over-tries for the teacher’s attention. and it is tipping us dangerously out of balance.

What can help us maintain a healthy tension to avoid slipping into what he describes above?

David Zweig - Invisibles


3 thoughts on “Currently Reading: Invisibles”

  1. i love the sound of this book … what are your own thoughts about maintaining that healthy balance??

    those 3 characteristics really make me think of my dad… he was a classic right-hand-man/”no.2″ at work… when he retired he called it “graduating”!

  2. Hey Sharon. I must meet your dad some time! Craig (our minister in church) used to work with him and tells stories about him interpreting.

    Hmm – i was asking the question!
    I’m thinking good face to face relationships (aka community/friends) – people who don’t take the crap, who tell you to wise up. when I retreat from meaningful/deep relationships i’m more likely to try to self promote.
    Ultimately it is probably an identity issue. When I am less secure and grounded I try to find my value and worth more in other people’s opinion and slide down the self-promotion route.
    What do you think?

  3. well now I think what you said, thanks!

    I love books/blogs/articles passing on stuff like this because I don’t even realise what I may be doing/finding my identity in, until someone else mentions it…

    the thing i really noticed about my dad is that in being an ‘invisible’ who didn’t self-promote, he ended up with a lot of influence, I think. by the end of his career he had promotions he never looked for, and even tried to talk his boss out of!!

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