Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 19 best-selling books, including The Dip, Linchpin, Purple Cow, Tribes, and What To Do When It’s Your Turn (And It’s Always Your Turn). His latest book is called The Practice.  Though renowned for his writing and speaking, Seth also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!). By focusing on everything from effective marketing and leadership, to the spread of ideas and changing everything, Seth has been able to motivate and inspire countless people around the world. In 2013, Seth was one of just three professionals inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. In an astonishing turn of events, in May 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame as well.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Sustaining Excellence =
    • The pursuit of WOW… “It’s not just meeting spec.”
    • Leading is voluntary
    • “Playing covers of yourself is not leadership.”
  • Leadership vs. Management?
    • Management is about power and a title
    • Leadership is about stepping up. NASCAR… Starbucks closed for a day to train everyone.
  • Why does Seth teach people how to juggle?
    • “It’s about the throw, not the catch.”
  • If you want to change your story, change your actions first. We become what we do.
  • Lost in all the noise around us is the proven truth that creativity is the result of desire. A Desire to solve an old problem, a desire to serve someone else. It’s not a bolt of lightning from somewhere else…
  • The difference between talent and skill: Talent is something we’re born with: it’s in our DNA, a magical alignment of gifts. Skill is earned. It’s learned and practiced and hard-won. It’s insulting to call a professional talented. She’s skill, first and foremost. In the words of Steve Martin, “I had no talent. None.”
  • Sculptor Elizabeth King said it beautifully, “process saves us from the poverty of our intentions.”
  • Surprising truths that have been hidden by our desire for those perfect outcomes:
    • Hubris is the opposite of trust
    • Professionals produce with intent
    • Creativity is an act of leadership
    • We become creative when we ship the work
    • Passion is a choice
  • Practical Empathy — “We have to be able to say, ‘it’s not for you’ and mean it. The work exists to serve someone, to change someone, to make something better.
  • We live in an outcome focused culture. The plumber doesn’t get credit for effort, he gets credit if the faucet stops leaking. Lost in this obsession with outcome is the truth that outcomes are the results of process. Focusing solely on outcomes forces us to make choices that are banal, short term or selfish. It takes our focus away from the journey and encourages us to give up too early.
  • The story of Drew Dernavich — he shared a picture of his “no” pile and of his “yes” pile. He’s a cartoonist. “Drew’s not a genius, he just has more paper than we do.”
  • Embrace your own temporary discomfort: Art doesn’t seek to create comfort. It creates change. And change requires tension. The same is true for learning. True learning (as opposed to education) is a voluntary experience that requires tension and discomfort (the persistent feeling of incompetence as we get better at a skill).
  • Generosity is the most direct way to find the practice. It subverts resistance by focusing the work on someone else. Generosity means that we don’t have to seek reassurance for the self, but can instead concentrate on serving others.
  • Selling is Difficult – Amateurs often feel like they’re taking something from the prospect – their time, their attention, ultimately their money. But what if you recast your profession as a chance to actually solve someone’s problem? “Selling is simply a dance with possibility and empathy. It requires you to see the audience you’ve chosen to serve, then to bring them what they need.”
    • Sales is about intentionally creating tension: the tension of “maybe,” the tension of “this might not work,” the tension of “what will I tell my boss…” That’s precisely the tension that we dance with as creators.
  • The story of General Magic – Megan Smith, Andy Hertzfeld, Marc Porat inventing virtually every element of the modern smartphone. And their first model sold 3,000 units. There were 10 years ahead of their time. The business failed, but the project didn’t.
  • Seth’s initial denial to be on my show… “Keep going and write back to me after you’ve recorded 75 episodes and have a big show.” Episode #75 came out November 26, 2015, I emailed you that day and said, “I’m at #75, are you ready to go?” And he was a man of your word. He was episode #86.
  • His speaking style is built through visuals. He finds the visuals first and then creates the story and application second.
  • Why does Seth fly fish without a hook? “To disconnect with the outcome.”
  • The story of Thornton May — He had no sales quota. He went city to city and invited everyone from a specific industry to a meal. Competitors would join and Thornton would be the person to bring everyone together. He became the person they called.


More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership