Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 20 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 book, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in countries around the world. Though renowned for his writing and speaking, Seth also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne (acquired by Yahoo!). 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. He might be the only person in both.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Leaders have nothing in common. They don’t share gender or income level or geography. There’s no gene, no schooling, no parentage, no profession. In other words, leaders aren’t born with it. Actually, they do have one thing in common. Every tribe leader I’ve ever met shares one thing: the decision to lead. Leadership is a choice.”
  • Great Stories – Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. Average people are good at ignoring you. Average people have too many different points of view about life and average people are by and large satisfied. If you need to water down your story to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one. The most effective stories match the world view of a tiny audience—and then that tiny audience spreads the story.
  • Really Bad PowerPoint  – Powerpoint could be the most powerful tool on your computer. But it’s not. Countless innovations fail because their champions use PowerPoint the way Microsoft wants them to, instead of the right way. Communication is the transfer of emotion. make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them. Create slides that demonstrate, with emotional proof, that what you’re saying is true not just accurate. Talking about pollution in Houston? Instead of giving me four bullet points of EPA data, why not read me the stats but show me a photo of a bunch of dead birds, some smog, and even a diseased lung? This is cheating! It’s unfair! It works.
  • Define Brand – Seth’s definition: A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.
  • If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter, or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection, or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
  • Linchpin — the combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.
  • Gifts — there are 2 reasons to give gifts. One is reciprocity. You give so that someone feels like they owe you something. That is manipulative and no way to build a career. The second reason is fascinating. Gifts allow you to make art. Gifts are given with no reciprocity hoped for or even possible. The paintings of Chuck Close – the gift he gives with no possibility of reciprocity gives him room to be in charge. Room to find joy. Because when he’s painting he’s not punching a time clock or trying to please someone who bought his time. He’s creating a gift. My fundamental argument is simple. In everything you do, it’s possible to be an artist, at least a little bit.
  • “How To Be Remarkable”
    • Remarkable doesn’t mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it? If not, then you’re average, and average is for losers.
    • It’s not really as frightening as it seems. They keep the masses in line by threatening them (us) with all manner of horrible outcomes if we dare to step out of line. But who loses their jobs at the mass layoffs? Who has trouble finding a new gig? Not the remarkable minority, that’s for sure.
  • 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. 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
  • If you want to change your story, change your actions first. We become what we do.
  • 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.
  • Apply to be part of my Leadership Circle

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