Seth Godin in Minneapolis – #sethgodinmpls – Part I

Today I had the privilege to see Seth Godin in person.  Long story short, my mind was blown with his insights on public education, resumes, and so much more!  Disclaimer: I have not read his new book Linchpin yet, but I plan on it!  Some of today’s highlights include:

Public Education – Brainwashing

From 8am-3pm we are teaching our kids to become drones in today’s society.  Raise your hand for this, follow these directions to do that, you must use a #2 pencil to write, and quizzes are on Friday.  As a result, some workplaces have benefited from this phenomenon. McDonalds is a great example. Ray Kroc was able to take the McDonald brothers hamburger stand and create a scripted, repeatable process that just about anyone could reproduce.  He also influenced the food infrastructure beef, chicken, and others.  Franchises heavily rely on this brainwashing from our public education system. – Follow all the steps and you’ll be successful.

There is also a negative result of this way of learning…  When today’s kids are done with school they heavily rely on these sets of instructions to live from day to day.  What’s missing? – Critically thinking and problem solving.  When presented with a problem they tend to ask for the answer instead of trying to figure it out on their own.

What can be done?

  • From 3-10, maybe 8? – Parents should be teaching their kids critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Forget about the TV and video games and do something that stimulates the brain in a positive way.
  • Remember that when you’re at work you don’t have to memorize fact after fact (depends on the job) but you can look things up in a book, internet, or even a SME.  I can speak from experience that there are some classes from my undergrad and even my graduate program that I remember absolutely nothing about. Why? – Because I crammed all of that information into my brain for a test and I was never given the opportunity to apply that textbook knowledge.

Just figure it out!

Project Management – Ship It!

Many projects tend to fail due to scope creep, lack of funding, last minute changes, and various other reasons.  Get these things out of the way right away!

Physically write down the follow and sign it!  Assign tasks/deliverables to people, not groups.  Most importantly, hold people accountable!

  1. What is the project?
  2. When does it ship? – Deadline
  3. Who is responsible for shipping – List the individual that is responsible in the end
  4. What are you afraid of?
  5. What are you really afraid of?
  6. Why are you afraid of the above?
  7. Why should your customer pick your product?
  8. Who is the customer?
  9. Who are the key influencers, gatekeepers, and authorities?
  10. Does anyone else matter?
  11. What does your devil’s advocate have to say?
  12. Who can stop the project?
  13. Who else can stop the project?
  14. Who is essential to the success of your project?
  15. What does perfect look like?
  16. What does good enough look like?
  17. List ever task and milestone.
  18. Who becomes your competition?
  19. What does failure look like?
  20. Plus it / Minus it – What can you add/remove that would significantly add value to your project?
  21. Thrash it – Go to town on tearing the project apart
  22. Agreement/Sign-off – Get a signature in pen to proceed with the project with all of the feedback given in the steps above.

Here is a video similar to his speech today – different examples though.

Last Words of Wisdom and Quotes

  • “Send kids to public school from 8-3 to learn how to become part of society but home school from 3-10″
  • “Become remarkable by choosing tasks that have no limit/ceiling.”  Once you get a 300 in bowling, you’ve hit the top.
  • “You don’t need a resume. Your trail of breadcrumbs online proves that you’re the same and probably has more info.” – This has created some contention…
  • “If you’re not committed to failure, you’re just avoiding it.”
  • “I had a hammer and everything looked like a nail.”
  • Sell the problem before selling solutions.”

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  • Kevin M. Donlin

    Great summary of a great presentation!

    Some more quotes from my notes:

    “People who haven’t bought from you either know you’re no good or they’re afraid” (Moral: make a friend before making the sale.)

    “Doctors report that the last 30 seconds of a colonoscopy determines how the patient remembers the whole procedure” (Big implications here :-)

    More quotes from Seth’s talk are on my blog.

  • Jule Kucera

    Shea, great summary of Seth’s talk. Wasn’t it awesome to hear his thoughts in person?
    One of my faves: “They were just like you except they were willing to think bigger thoughts.”

    It was great to meet you and I wish you all the best with DentedBox.
    PS: Nice blog!

    • Shea

      Thanks Jule!

      It was definitely awesome to see him in person. You really get to see the passion and the on-the-spot Q&A.