Seth Godin on Becoming Influential

The internet entrepreneur and marketing savant considers the moments of failure and intense challenge to be where professional and personal growth comes from–and his long history of both failures (common to the tech sector history) and successes (Yoyodyne, Squidoo, Permission Marketing).

I appreciate the parallel between public speaking and design–creative processes that also include persuasion:

The charisma of a great speech, a powerful graphic design or a well-designed tool and yes, a well-designed tool can have charisma comes from certainty.

Not the arrogance of, “I am right and you are not,” but from the confidence/certainty of, “I need to say it or draw it or present it just this way and I want you to hear it.”

Graphic design that fades into the background, that recycles the safe or is merely banal does nothing for us. But the sure hand of someone who understands what she says and what she wants to communicate cant help but touch us.

This is the difference between the mediocre abstract painting at the local crafts fair and the powerful piece at MOMA. This is the difference between 8 bullet points on a slide and a picture that moves us.

Confidence usually implies that you know its going to work. Im not talking about that, because only a fool is confident all the time. No, the sure hand can be open and vulnerable and connected, but above all, at least right this moment, it is sure enough to speak up, without hiding.

via Seths Blog.


5 thoughts on “Seth Godin on Becoming Influential”

  1. I recently sat down with Corbin Church. He is the CEO of Miche Bag and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is a self-made, successful entrepreneur. In 3 years Miche had grown from a company selling $21,000 in product per month to one selling well over $55 million a year nationwide and internationally. Additionally, through his company he has donated over $700,000 to cancer research. Church laid out five tips for success that are necessary to lay a strong foundation and then bring a vision to life.
    1. See a Need and Fill It
    2. Be Flexible During the Development Phase
    3. Essential in Any Economy: Affordability and Effective Distribution Channels
    4. Get Your Own Hands Dirty, Then Delegate
    5. Listen, Listen, Then Listen Some More


  2. It’s really quite incredible what a little charisma can do to a speach. Sadly, one of the best examples is Adolf Hitler. That man gained control of a nation because he knew how to present his ideas in a clear manner and with plenty of charisma.

  3. i really love kelseys post about Church and how one of his five main points was about listening. In order to talk and be heard the way we want to, we must listen. I’ve heard from so many accomplished professionals that speaking correctly is important, but listening correctly is even more vital. I think this principle and idea can be applied when we are in briefings in Europe! If we want to sound intelligent and inquire about the topics in an educated matter, we must listen intently and seek for understanding first.

  4. I liked the paragraph about confidence. I think finding the appropriate level of confidence is critical to being charismatic and influential. It is important to be sure of your self, but being too sure of yourself can often lead to embarrassment at failure. It is important to always remain open to new ideas and discussion.

  5. Wow, insightful comments and ideas. I used to do debate in high school and saw a lot of good speeches and a lot of bad speeches. One thing that I learned is that good speaking skills comes with two things. Most importantly, practice. With practice comes what Emily said about “listening intently and seeking for understanding first.” Observing first to understand the whole issue. The second thing is confidence which goes back to what Dr. Leonard posted about. It’s fascinating how if one focuses on being persuasive, yet vulnerable to new ideas, one will come across confident.

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