I have read a few Seth Godin books Purple Cow and Tribes were insightful. When I picked up a copy of his book Linchpin , I have to tell you, it was a nice surprise. Why was it a surprise? Well, the impression I got when I purchased the book (in my quick consumer scan of the front and back) was it was a book about how to become indispensable in your career. Yes, I added career on there simply because the book is sold in the business section. Well, this book goes beyond career by inspiring the reader to become indispensable in life. For many of us, our career seems like life but its only one piece of the puzzle (albeit sometimes a big piece).
Since the book came out in January 2010, there are an abundance of incredible reviews, which I encourage you to read (they are conveniently collected on Squidoo). In this post, I use my chosen art of persuasion in an attempt to encourage you to read the book for yourself.
The quote that got me to read this book:
“The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.”
Fight the fight
Who doesn’t want to be seen as indispensable not just in their career, but in life as well? Godin takes it a step further in this book when he makes it about you – your choices, your future, and your potential to make a huge difference in whatever field you choose.
He defines linchpins as people who invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos. They figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. These folks love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art. Yes, art! Much like Steven Pressfield, he describes art as something everyone does – not just painters, actors, musicians, etc. We all have an art, a skill we love doing. He takes a deep dive into the dreaded resistance our lizard minds love to play with.
This book asks:
Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn’t reach? Even once? If so, you want to read this book because you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back. Linchpin will show you how to join the likes of these fascinating folks:
*Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces.
*Marissa Mayer, who keeps Yahoo! focused on the things that really matter.
*Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a resume.
*David, who works at Dean and Deluca coffeeshop in New York. He sees every customer interaction as a chance to give a gift and is cherished in return.
In an attempt to be concise, something I feel Godin is a genius at – I will leave you with this quote from him:
“Everyday I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.”
Assignment: Read Linchpin by Seth Godin and tell us what you think!