Chick-fil-A Leadercast Blast from the Past: Seth Godin 2011

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

As the date for this year’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast approaches in less than a week I am re-posting some of the previous years highlights to provide a taste of what you might expect at this year’s event.


Seth Godin

Entrepreneur, Marketing Expert, & Best-Selling Author of 12 Books Including “Linchpin”

Looking at the “act of making decisions”

Most of the time we are not seeing what is versus what we are hoping for.

Most often see what we are hoping for.

Newspapers business has been slow to see reality in their business model with the emergence of the internet replacing much of what they do. Many in that industry long for what used to be instead of embracing the reality of what is and then adapting to it.

  • Do you ignore reality?
  • If you do, you will make decisions like this at your peril.

You either operate in a spam world, or build your business by permission, you build relationships with your customers and earn their trust.

  • Do you deliver product they want and need?

There are 2 ways to get married:

1. You go to bunch of singles bar and propose to everybody hoping someone will say yes eventually.

2. You date your potential spouse and develop relationship and earn your partners love and devotion.

  • Earn right to Whisper to your people
  • You earn right to whisper to you customer instead of trying to out yell your competitors.
  • Are you remarkable?
  • Do you stand out in crowd?
  • Most have settled for producing and selling average stuff to average people.
  • When you do this you are aiming at middle.
  • This model does not work.

Yelling does not work!

Socks illustration: a sock manufacture decided to approach their business in a unique way to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

  • Made decision to make socks for 12-year-old girls.
  • Made a decision to make socks that don’t match.
  • Made it a fashion!
  • They had all the 12-year-old girls saying, “Want to see my socks?” to their girlfriends at school.
  • The result was those friends went home and told their moms, “I need new socks” Socks that don’t match!
  • Selling mismatched socks became a new market that differentiated them from the mass marketing commodity type sells of their competition.
  • $1 million first years, last year $40 million in sales.
  • They built this idea into what they do everyday, make socks.
  • You give 12-year-old girls something to talk about.

Are you in story business or in fact business?

  • Most business just worry about facts,  facts, facts…
  • People don’t by stuff because of facts!
  • You don’t by the absolute cheapest, car, clothes
  • You tell yourselves stories.
  • We all tell ourselves stories.
  • 2 can watch debate and come up with different stories of what happened in the debate.
  • We each make judgments based on what we bring to situation, write stories from our own individual perspectives
  • Solar lantern pays for itself in 90 days, but almost no one buys one, Why is this? Facts tells us we should.
  • What your telling me or selling me better be true, but more just as important is the notion that it better resonate with me personally.

Future does not care if you believe in it or not, because it is coming!

  • Too many times we are happy with where we are and don’t want to change.
  • Get rid of your hammer, if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.
  • One saw internet, Seth wrote book sold 784 copies, others saw internet and built Yahoo and became worth $80 billion.
  • You must think outside box.
  • Going to edge of box will make people around you nervous.
  • Henry Ford-most important person of 20th century.
  • Mastered mass production, interchangeable parts.
  • Ford was so good at this no one could compete and they were wildly successful.

Interchangeable parts bring us interchangeable people.

  • This model is not working so well now.
  • This is now only good at making average stuff for average people.
  • If you want something above average this don’t work.

You need to have irreplaceable people to make something extraordinary!

  • You need to be the organization that people want to work for.
  • Increasing productivity by showing up more-it is hard work, takes a lot of guts.
  • Lots of people are very busy out there polishing, getting all their ducks in a row. Trying to get things in order.

Once I get ducks in row I will be ready to do something interesting.

  • We don’t need better compliance, we need better decisions to be made.
  • Need action.
  • Managment leads you to do what you did yesterday better and faster.
  • Leadership is hiring great people who you trust, get in great position with the right platform and get out-of-the-way and let your people create and produce.
  • Leadership is taking us somewhere where we all want to go.
  • Do you want to comply or own things.
  • Most companies operate with the compliance model and all they get from their people is compliance.
  • Managed=Dilbert world
  • Your career now=series of projects.
  • Resume=your projects, your reputation.

Leadership=doing more

  • Can you motivate team to do more?

Scarcity vs Abundance Mentality

  • Books: Paper vs. Kindle, Kindle can make book for .05
  • Organizations that embrace trust will be successful.

Normal now=On edges

  • Most organizations pushing people to be in middle.
  • Are you going to be about recognizing our weirdness, that their are others out there with the same weirdness.
  • Recognize that there other people out there that are focused on the things you are focused on.
  • Will you go back to work and do normal?
  • You are either an accountant or an artist.

Artist are human beings who use their platform to make a difference, to do something worth doing. 

Do you want to lead a group of irreplaceable people, doing work that really  matters, you can have an opportunity to stand out. 

  • It is easier to do work that matters.
  • It is easier to stand out.
  • Internet is a connection machine, enables you to share ideas that matter with the world instantly.

Are you going to race to top or race to bottom?

  • Most people are racing to the bottom, most people are moving to work cheaper,  make it cheaper, make it faster, all this=race to bottom.

Make a decision to race to top!

Ask yourself the question: Will they miss you if you are not there?

  • You have been given the opportunity to touch people, you need be saying “I can’t believe I have this opportunity to touch and impact other people”
  • Make choice to do art?
Artist are human beings who use their platform to make a difference, to do something worth doing. 

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