I am an ardent fan of Seth Godin’s books and have read many of his books over the years. So when Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? was released I had high expectations of the book.
The key idea behind Linchpin is that you need to take “ownership” your job, life, and demonstrate the value of what you can offer, by becoming "indispensable".
People will not be indispensable because of power or position, but because of the way they work. Seth terms this as "emotional labor", and what I like to call engagement and passion.
Seth’s compassionate plea is for everyone to “be” an artist – be a Linchpin rather than a cog in the wheel.
I personally found the book to be brilliant and very inspiring; it was really a wake-up call for me. Probably, a wake-up call for most professionals because Seth let's them know that they are heading towards a cliff if they continue “being” who they are!
Here, are a few of my favorite excerpts from the book.
Where Were You When the World Changed?
I grew up in a world where people did what they were told, followed instructions, found a job, made a living, and that was that. Now we live in a world where all the joy and profit have been squeezed out of following
the rules. Outsourcing and automation and the new marketing punish anyone who is merely good, merely obedient, and merely reliable. It doesn't matter if you're a wedding photographer or an insurance broker; there's no longer a clear path to satisfaction in working for the man.
If You Want . . . If you want a job where it's okay to follow the rules, don't be surprised if you get a job where following the rules is all you get to do.
If you want a job where the people who work for you do exactly what they're told, don't be surprised if your boss expects precisely the same thing from you. If you want a job where you don't need to be creative because the company's cost structure is so aggressive that customers just materialize, don't be surprised if the low cost structure costs you your job. If you want a job where you get to do more than follow instructions, don't be surprised if you get asked to do things they never taught you in school. If you want a job where you take intellectual risks all day long, don't be surprised if your insights get you promoted.
You Can't? At the age of four, you were an artist. And at seven, you were a poet. And by the time you were twelve, if you had a lemonade stand, you were an entrepreneur. Of course you can do something that matters. I guess I'm wondering if you want to. There may be a voice in your head that is ready to announce that you can't possibly do what I'm describing. You don't have what it takes; you're not smart enough or trained enough or gifted enough to pull this off. I'd like to ask for a simple clarification. You can't--or you don't want to? I'll accept the second.
It's quite possible that you don't want to. It's possible that making this commitment is too scary or too much work. It's possible that it appears too risky to put yourself on the line and make a commitment to becoming indispensable. A commitment like this raises the bar, and for some people, that might be too high.
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