[Seth Godin] Seth Godin’s Leadership Workshop

Module 1: Leadership is not management

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654783

Spend nine minutes writing on the topics below, then paste the link to your writing in the room to discuss with your group:

What is leadership? Instead of pointing to a leader, outline a moment when someone you respect engaged in leadership. Next, describe a moment when you chose to lead.

How is it different from the rest of the time, when you are merely managing?

Do you agree that leadership is a choice?

Leadership is about making change. A change that might not work. If you do the work alone, you’re an artist. If you get other people to do it with you, you’re a leader.

Going forward, then, what is the change you’re trying to make?

Both leadership and management deal with other people.

A manager sets an agenda and asks others to follow the scripts and produce predictably.

A leader causes an internal change in others who will take different steps to achieve the same success.

To be honest, I can’t recall any leader in my life. There might be a few but don’t jump out to me. A lot of managers for sure…

I started teaching other people how to write clean Swift code by blogging.

In the past, when I asked another developer to do something, they would just follow orders. Same thing if I am on the receiving end.

Now that I am having actual conversation, emails and comments, one-to-one with others who are trying to learn from me, question me, and even show me something I didn’t know before.

Leadership is definitely a choice. It was my choice to start blogging about what I know.

Module 2: Paint a picture – see the end before you begin the journey

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654777
Password: moduleisreadonly

Please don’t watch anything but this video… we’re spacing them out.

You’ll need to copy and paste the password above to make it work.

Ten minutes, solo writing: What about your journey might not work? Does describing the chasm in front of you make it more likely that you’ll fall into it?

We’re giving you more time here, because we want you to go deep. Writing down that thing you fear makes it far less powerful. No need to share this unless it helps you. If you decide to share, either paste the link or the writing in your Slack channel.

I’ve always had an entrepreneur’s mind but just wasn’t sure how to get there. The glamorous startup worlds only paint the success picture. There are way more failures. I made a few failed attempts myself. In the process, there was always something that didn’t feel quite right.

As I continue to explore and learn from others, I had a mindset shift.

I developed a backwards plan. I want this. How do I get it? Can I get it today? If not, how can I get it. What are the steps required? Can I do that myself? If not, can I outsource it easily? If not, I’m not doing it. Pick something I can achieve today. Start small.

I’ve also always had the fear of what if I fail. But now I got over it. If something doesn’t work, it’s unlikely that anyone would notice. And I’d just start over again or improve it.

I’ve also seen others fail miserably in public. And when they got back up and learn from their mistakes. I was actually rooting for them. So I can finally now embrace failures.

Module 3: Culture defeats everything. What is different ‘around here’ than in the real world?

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654778

Ten minutes, group chat, no writing: What does it mean to do the right thing even when there’s a popular shortcut?

This journey you’re on, for you and your team do the ends justify the means? Which means? What’s right and where do you draw the line? Does everyone in your culture draw the line in the same place?

What sort of control are you willing to give up to get closer to your goal?

I don’t think the ends justify the means if the means are bad. Your audience are smart and they can tell if you are being honest, helpful ethical, or if you are being manipulative.

Module 4: Selling the dream

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654779

Solo writing: Are you telling a story about your goal that resonates with the people who are ready to hear it?

Tell your story four ways, all true, all based on different worldviews, for different audiences. Paste the link or the writing into your Slack channel.

My business coaches teach me how to do research on my audience to find out exactly what they need, want, and buy. Based on this research data, I am able to write and resonate with my audience. Everyone’s worldview is different, and it’s impossible to resonate with everyone. But it’s a process that I can continually improve upon.

Module 5: Enrollment

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654781

Group chat: Who are you following? What does it mean for you to be enrolled in that journey? What commitments are you making and what compromises do you refuse to make?

Now that you’ve considered the people you’re enrolled with, what would it mean for someone to be enrolled in following you? Are they getting the same satisfaction as you are? Are they making the same commitment? What are they seeking?

Make a list of the C people in your organization—and then figure out what about their role makes them act like C people? Are there round holes for these round people?

I am enrolled with the bootstrapping community, both teachers and peers. There is a process that we are all following. We also critique and help one another improve their businesses.

As for my own tribe, I haven’t really thought about providing them the same satisfaction I got from my own bootstrapping community. This is something I’ll need to think more consciously about. A good takeaway.

Module 6: Don’t forget rule 6

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654780

Solo writing: What happens when you bring mindfulness to the project?

Is the project the same as you? The project is serious, there is a lot on the line. But what happens if you take yourself a lot less seriously? Many people find it makes it easier to take the problem seriously if they let themselves off the serious hook a bit.

Give an example of a moment in the past when you forgot Rule 6… and whether, in retrospect, whether those behaviors paid off.

When someone asks why you’re not panicking, perhaps the answer might be, “would it help?”

Shit happens. It’s a matter of life. I am very guilty of taking myself too seriously, especially when I was younger. I still do. I found if I am always so serious, people think there’s something wrong. It makes me unapproachable.

Taking the work seriously means I am giving 110% into what I do. But then not taking myself too seriously means I am allowed to fail and not be perfect. It actually shows I am a human who can make mistakes too. People are more forgiving than I assume they are.

Don’t worry. Be happy. I need to remind myself of rule 6.

Module 7: Authority vs. responsibility

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654785

Group writing: Inside your assigned channel, work together to create a list: on acting as if — can you make a list of 25 ways you could take responsibility (without authority) if you cared more about changing things more than credit, authority or blame?

Keep adding your ideas to a group list, without criticism, building on each other’s responsibilities…

  • Never release code before it is tested
  • Don’t underestimate just to get a project
  • Follow best practices even if it takes longer
  • Teach others best practices even if they are supposed to know
  • Do things the right way instead of finding a shortcut
  • Do not criticize others

Module 8: Certain failure

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654786

Group discussion: “Nothing succeeds with everyone.” Identify ten popular items that at least one person in the group can’t stand. Listen hard to the criticism that smart people have about something that you’re sure is fabulous. And then respond by criticizing something that they believe is a great act of leadership.

The goal is to take the learnings about worldview and failure and make them personal.

Module 9: It’s personal

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654784

Solo writing: “When you fail, and you will…” Pick a moment when you’ve led, when the project didn’t work, when there was failure. Tell us what happened and why it’s personal… and why it’s not.

This is the last regular module, and we’re challenging you to share your own story, not to hide behind critiquing, encouraging or commenting on someone else’s.

Fear doesn’t go away, but it’s easier to live with if you’re willing to speak its name.

I’ve been involved with a project where the manager over-promised and we didn’t deliver on time and on client’s budget.

It’s personal because I had to take shortcuts that I’m not proud of.

It’s not personal because it wasn’t me who made the promise.

Bonus 1: Wonder first

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654787

Solo writing: Can you find examples of each of these in your work?


I wonder what people will think of my Clean Swift architecture.
I notice how other developers/bootstrappers can build a business by building an audience.
I connect with them by joining their classes, following them, leaving comments, emailing them.
I understand the process they use to build a successful business.
I took the leap by writing weekly and building an email list.
I challenge myself to write a book, run a workshop, teach a master class.
I transform my audience in the way they think about architecture and testing.
I contribute by creating templates to help others use Clean Swift.

Bonus 2: It’s your battleship

Video link: https://vimeo.com/151654788

Group discussion: How do the three questions resonate with you after this course?

Did I clearly state the goals?
Did I give my people enough time and resources to accomplish those goals?
Did I dig deep enough with each person to get to the way they see the world?

My goals are to show people what good app architecture is, what the benefits are, and how it helps testing.

I write, and provided templates to help people get started. I also plan on running workshops and classes, and write a book in the near future.

I dig deep by talking about the deep feelings while writing code, not just the technical aspects. I care about developer happiness, why there is a disconnect between developers and product managers. I write about estimating, being professional, how to build a career, not just doing your job.