FLYING CLOSER TO THE SUN – Seth Godin’s Summer Intensive
My three days with best selling author and entrepreneur, Seth Godin, and his hand-picked crew of potential impresarios.
Life coaching comes in many different forms. How is that possible since it’s the same goal of coaching someone’s life? Easy. We all see life from our personal experience, our honed perspective. Someone can be a life coach with the lens of organization, another with creativity in mind. July 30, 2012, I walked in to a life coaching session seen through the eyes of marketing, humor and high-stakes. I was privileged to work with Seth Godin.
He doesn’t market himself as a life coach. He might even laugh that I would call it such. But when your work is your life… and Seth leans across the table with all the penetrating questions of:
“Do I care?” ”Do I believe?” ”Are you the person to do this?” ”What do you want from me?”
…expecting nothing less than your most passionate and driven response… then yes, he’s a life coach. And a mind-blowing one at that.
This three-day intensive was a study of many things:
- How much damage has industrialized education caused?
- How quickly can that damage be reversed?
- What’s holding us back from “shipping it”, from getting our work in to the world?
- What projects are we passionate about and capable of implementing… TODAY?
- How do you articulate your project? Find and unify the needed elements? TODAY.
- Can you ask for what you truly need?
Over the next few days, I’d like to share what I took away from working with Seth, his brilliant assistant, Michelle Welsch, and the diverse students pulled together for this unique experience.
1) How much damage has industrialized education done?
Required reading for the participants, and I believe for anyone affected by the current education system (a.k.a. everyone), was Seth’s manifesto - Stop Stealing Dreams. He challenges many aspects of schooling that are taken for granted. He actively offers and asks for answers on how to transform (not reform) education as we know it.
Luckily, on my path through arts education and progressive education, I have already begun to see many of these signs. In Creatively Independent‘s work, Chris and I have experienced first hand the assumptions in the system that absolutely don’t work with today’s needs and potential. It has pulled me through my current work and my desire to help revolutionize education before entering my little boy into the same flawed system.
Mind you, I’ve got my major “good student” hangs up too! And I was amazed at how deep this industrialized form was embedded in my fellow participants, a stunning group of international undergrads and graduate students ranging from 19 years-old to upper 30s. This was going to be an interesting three days.
The first day, Seth asked us not to bring notebooks or computers to the table. No note taking. You could almost hear everyone’s mind gears slowing down for a minute, a monkey wrench was definitely thrown in – one of many over the next three days.
The day was filled with insight, provocations and a ton of humor (laughter helps when you start to realize one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small. Go ask Alice…).
That night I was talking with a friend from home, doing my best to both recap the day and breathe. I realized I was quoting Seth on one topic and right in the middle of my sentence I stopped. ”No, he didn’t say it exactly like that. That’s how I interpreted it.” And that’s when the penny dropped.
If I had been a “good student” diligently taking notes all day, any information and insight would have still been directly connected to Seth’s wisdom. It would be disconnected from me, just enough for me to not have to own it. And this information needed to be owned.
He was educating us – from the latin root of the word ‘educe’ meaning to draw out that which is latent in us. And he was removing his own ego by actively asking us not to quote him.
So, in a series of posts, I want to spread my interpretation of the three-days with Seth Godin. What’s fab is many of the impresarios that participated have started to do the same. And it’s wonderful and wild where the similarities and differences might pop up. You can find the other impresario’s insight: Keila Harris, Paul Jun and Sam King.
1. Where was the moment you took ownership of your own education?
2. How do you like to receive and then retain information? Chats? Books? Videos? Experiential?