Win a Free Copy of Linchpin by Seth Godin
In Linchpin, Seth Godin describes the sea change that is taking place in the world economy and provides insight into how each one of us can position and improve ourselves to take advantage of the new economy.
Many of us hold the misconception that we ought to be able to find a good job, do what is expected, and that job should pay well and be secure. The reality of the new economy, however, is that if your job is just a matter of following procedure, a lot of people can do it, and your employer can probably find someone to do your job for less than it’s paying you.
Godin argues if you want to be successful and be secure in your job, make yourself indispensible – a linchpin. Go above and beyond what’s expected. Be an artist at what you do. Connect people. Solve problems. But most people don’t want to do this because the resistance (aka the lizard brain, our fear instinct) overwhelms them.
Godin also makes that case that businesses have two options. They can either provide the same product or service as everyone else but try to do it cheaper (in which case a bunch of other companies will be trying to do the same thing). Or they can create a remarkable product or service, which people love and want to pay more for. If you want to do the latter, you have to hire and nurture linchpins.
There are so many insightful nuggets in Linchpin, it’s hard to whittle them down, but here is just a small sample of them.
- You are not one of the myriad of interchangeable pieces, but a unique human being. – David Mamet (P 6)
- The easier people are to replace, the less they need to be paid. (P 9)
- If you make your business possible to replicate, you’re not going to be the one to replicate it. Others will. (P 11)
- Consumers are not loyal to cheap commodities. They crave the unique, the remarkable, and the human (P 13)
- The new American Dream, though, the one that markets around the world are embracing as fast as they can is this: Be remarkable, be generous, create art, make judgment calls, connect people and ideas… and we have no choice but to reward you. (P 33)
- What the boss really wants is an artist, someone who changes everything, someone who makes dreams come true. (P 38)
- Troubleshooting is an art, and it’s a gift. (P 60)
- An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. (P 83)
- Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. (P 84)
- Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. (P 97)
- All artists have this optimism, because artists can honestly say that they are working to make things better. (P 98)
- If the ideas don’t spread, if no gift is received, then there is no art, only effort. (P 99)
- Real artists ship. – Steve Jobs (P 101)
- The resistance pushes relentlessly for you to fit in. (P 117)
- Twitter… is the perfect resistance, because it’s never done. There’s always another tweet to be read and responded to. Which, over course, keeps you from doing the work. (P 134)
- Unchecked anxiety is the single biggest barrier between you and your goals. (P 142)
- Artists don’t give gifts for money. They do it for respect and connection and to cause change. (P 167)
- What’s scarce is a desire to accept what is and then work to change it for the better. (P 185)
- If there was a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map. (P 188)
- A concert isn’t merely about the music, is it? And a restaurant isn’t about the food. It’s about joy and connection and excitement. (P 197)
- Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion. (P 201)
- What do you do when your art doesn’t work? … Make more art… Give more gifts… Learn from what you did and then do more. (P 225)
As an entrepreneur, a lot of the ideas Seth Godin presents in Linchpin resonate strongly with me. I’ve been making myself indispensible, creating connections, solving problems, and drawing maps for years. What Linchpin did for me is clarify those concepts and cause me to realize they are even more important than I realized.
There are three other important realizations I’m coming away with.
- I am still playing it too safe, not setting big enough goals, and sort of standing out but not too much.
- I want – no, make that need – every person who works with me at OurChurch.Com to be a linchpin.
- I believe every person can become a linchpin.
I have a passion for seeing people to live up to their full potential. Before reading Linchpin, I just assumed that some people just weren’t gifted to be artists (in Seth’s use of the term). I figured some people were just wired up to be cogs in the economic machine. But, Linchpin convinced me that everyone has the potential to become a linchpin. That’s a thrilling realization. More than ever it stirs a passion in me to help people become more than they think they can be.
I highly recommend Linchpin to everyone. In fact, I believe the insights contained in Linchpin are so important that I’m going to read through and discuss the book with my wife and I’m going to give a copy to everyone I work with. (How’s that for an endorsement.)
- Are you a linchpin in your job?
- If you are, what is your art? What gifts do you give?
- If not, do you believe you can become one? Do you want to be one?
- If you’ve already Linchpin, what were your biggest takeaways?
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If you’d like a free copy of Linchpin, all you have to do is
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One person will be randomly selected the morning of Monday 3/29 to receive a free copy of Linchpin.