When Seth Godin announced a series of reader meetups oriented around his new book, Linchpin, I decided right away to organize the Vancouver event. Linchpin’s themes of overcoming internal resistance and bringing a sense of art into one’s work have resonated with me as I have developed RedRovr, and I looked forward to meeting others who felt the same. Vancouver had an absurdly high number of folks interested in this meetup, on par with New York and London’s responses, so it was clear I was not alone!

Thanks to everyone who came out that night for creating a great event! Here’s a recap of how the night went, and links to the books and blogs we talked about:

Gift, Skill, Attitude

We kicked things off with a short talk by Steph Corker Irwin, who spoke about her week with Seth in New York as part of his nanoMBA program. Steph led a discussion about the extent to which the qualities of leaders we admire are a gift, skill, or attitude. As the group weighed in, it was striking and somewhat liberating how almost every quality was seen as ultimately a skill or an attitude, i.e., something you can wake up in the morning and choose to work on.

Open Space Discussion

I had the group write up topics they wanted to discuss and post them at the front of the room. We organized the topic suggestions into clusters which formed the basis for lightweight discussion groups. In line with open space principles, people could come and go from these groups as they wished, joining in on any discussion they wanted. The topics were wide-ranging, and included:

  • Overcoming the lizard brain
  • Gift, Skill, Attitude continued
  • Moving ideas into action
  • Crowdsourcing innovation
  • Making a difference in the world
  • Linchpinning education
  • Using business to save the world
  • What should I read next?
  • Creating community
  • Painting your life’s picture
  • The NanoMBA
  • When to ship
  • Creating Linchpinvilles

Book Recommendations

I spent a lot of time in the “What should I read next?” group. Thanks to Matt and Dave for drafting up this fantastic list of the books we discussed. For those inspired by Seth Godin’s work and Linchpin, check out the following books.

I went a bit berzerk here: you can see them all on this Amazon list of Linchpin Meetup Book Recommendations. You can see the raw list of books below, loosely categorized by me. And if you scroll down all the way, you’ll see a Librarything widget with covers and other info for every book.

Marketing, Sales, Customer Service:
  • The Art of Woo
  • Free Prize Inside
  • Delivering Happiness
  • Flip the Funnel
  • The Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Words That Change Minds
  • Made to Stick
  • How to Sell Anything
  • Switch
  • Making Ideas Happen
Entrepreneurship:
  • The Art of the Start
  • Startup Nation
  • Early Exits
Internet:
  • Everything is Miscellaneous
  • Cognitive Surplus
  • The Long Tail
  • What Would Google Do?
Learning, Leadership, & Personal Development:
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0
  • A Whole New Mind
  • The Creative Habit
  • The Art of Non-Conformity
  • What Makes The Great Great
  • Me to We
  • Style Statement
Business & Misc:
  • The Singularity is Near
  • Superfreakonomics
  • Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance
  • The Swiss Family Robinson
  • The Glass Castle
  • The Mirror Test
Blog recommendations from the group:

Thanks for reading!