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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? [Kindle Edition]

Seth Godin
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (554 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $8.85
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

"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."

In bestsellers such as Purple Cow and Tribes, Seth Godin taught readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. But this book is different. It's about you - your choices, your future, and your potential to make a huge difference in whatever field you choose.

There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team, the linchpins. These people 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. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.

Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. Like the small piece of hardware that keeps a wheel from falling off its axle, they may not be famous but they're indispensable. And in today's world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom.

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? Then 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...

*Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces.
*Marissa Mayer, who keeps Google focused on the things that really matter.
*Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a résumé.
*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.

As Godin writes, "Every day 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."


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Hugh MacLeod Reviews Linchpin

Hugh MacLeod is an artist, cartoonist, and Web 2.0 pundit whose blog, gapingvoid.com, has two million unique monthly visitors. His first book, Ignore Everybody, was an Amazon Top Ten Business Book of the Year and a Wall Street Journal bestseller. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Linchpin:

This is by far Seth’s most passionate book. He’s pulling fewer punches. He’s out for blood. He’s out to make a difference. And that glorious, heartfelt passion is obvious on every page, even if it is in Seth’s usual quiet, lucid, understated manner.

A linchpin, as Seth describes it, is somebody in an organization who is indispensable, who cannot be replaced—her role is just far too unique and valuable. And then he goes on to say, well, seriously folks, you need to be one of these people, you really do. To not be one is economic and career suicide.

No surprises there—that’s exactly what one would expect Seth to say. But here’s where it gets interesting.

In his best-known book, Purple Cow, Seth’s message was, “Everyone’s a marketer now.” In All Marketers Are Liars, his message was, “Everyone’s a storyteller now.” In Tribes, his message was, “Everyone’s a leader now.”

And from Linchpin?

"Everyone’s an artist now."

By Seth’s definition, an artist is not just some person who messes around with paint and brushes, an artist is somebody who does (and I LOVE this term) “emotional work.”

Work that you put your heart and soul into. Work that matters. Work that you gladly sacrifice all other alternatives for. As a working artist and cartoonist myself, I know exactly what he means. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

The only people who have a hope of becoming linchpins in any organization, who have any hope of changing anything for the better in real terms, are those who have the capacity to do “emotional work” at a high level—to be true artists at whatever they set their minds on doing. The guys who just plod around the office corridors, just turning up for their paycheck.... Well, those guys don’t have a prayer, poor things. The world is just too interesting and competitive now.

And Seth then challenges us, the readers, to become linchpins ourselves. To make the leap. To become artists. To do emotional work, whatever the sacrifice may be. It’s our choice, and it’s our burden. Seth won’t be there to catch us if we fall, but to become the people we need to be eventually, well, we probably wouldn’t want him to, anyway.

Congratulations, Seth. You have penned a real gem of a book here. Rock on.

--Hugh MacLeod

Review

For anyone who feels trapped in a labyrinth of tradition, this book is compass, map and sledgehammer BUSINESS DESTINATIONS, February 10

Product Details

  • File Size: 723 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0749953357
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (January 19, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00354Y9ZU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
(554)
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
316 of 335 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin's Linchpin WILL Stay With You January 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover
While reading Linchpin I looked around a few times to see if author Seth Godin was perhaps peering through my living room window to see my reaction. It really felt like he was talking to me, singling me out. How could he know how I rationalize things?

"There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do."

Linchpin is a most unusual, well-organized, concise book about what it takes to become indispensable in the workplace - whether you work for someone else (at any level) or are self-employed. It's about how business has rapidly changed and how treating employees like factory workers (or doing your job like one) doesn't work any longer. We must make choices and take action to "chart our own paths" and add value that others do not. We cannot wait for a boss or a job description to tell us what to do, rather we must just take the initiative ourselves. Only then can we become indispensable "linchpins," rather than replaceable "cogs." There are so many fantastic quotes in the book too.

"You don't become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to become indispensable is to be different. That's because if you're the same, so are plenty of other people."

The 14 chapters in this book are each broken down into short segments with great headlines that summarize them. Godin uses special vocabulary words to describe the many factors that go into becoming a linchpin. These words have unique meanings in the context in which they are used. You'll learn interpretations for terms such as art, thrashing, gifts, resistance, pranja, ship, lizard brain, shenpa, emotional labor and others.

"Art is unique, new and challenging to the status quo. It's not decoration. It's something that causes change.
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310 of 330 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An important message, but not a new one January 31, 2010
Format:Hardcover
I got an early copy of Seth Godin's new book "Linchpin: Are you indispensable" because I made a $40 donation to the charity Acumen. In return, I agreed to review the book in a blog post at my site. Here goes, I hope you find this helpful.

Every once in a while I run across a book that is so important, so compelling, so unique with respect to not only content but also writing style that I can't put it down until I finish it. This is not one of those books (for me); nevertheless, I am going to recommend it because I concur with his core message and if you have not heard it before from other sources, I think you need to hear it now.

Parts of this book are brilliant - they will change how I talk about my core message. Much of what Seth had to say in this book was not new to me, and frankly I prefer the way others have said it. But Seth has a style of writing that will appeal to many, and I predict many will come away reading this book thinking it is the most important book they have read in a long time. Don't get me wrong, I am a BIG fan of Seth Godin, but for this book such claims would be pretentious.

Here is Seth's bottom line:

I didn't set out to get you to quit your job or to persuade you to become an entrepreneur or merely to change the entire world. All I wanted to do in this book was sell you on being the artist you already are. To make a difference. To stand for something. To get the respect and security you deserve. If I've succeeded, then you know that you have a gift to give, something you can do to change the world (or your part of it) for the better. I hope you'll do that, because we need you. (p. 230).

I think he succeeded, and if you have never heard this message, then I encourage you to get this book and read it.
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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godin's most important book...thus far January 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Others have their own reasons for praising this book. Here are five of mine. First, this is by far Godin's most personal book in which he reveals more of his emotions and "soul" (for lack of a better term) than he has in any of his previous books. Also, from the beginning, he establishes a direct and personal rapport with his reader. I felt that he had written this book specifically for me. Although he and I have never met, I felt as if he were speaking to me and discussing ideas with me as if we were engaged in a face-to-face conversation.

Moreover, unlike in most of his previous books, Godin does not climb up into a pulpit and launch a tirade, engaging his audience with a confrontational tone and Old Testament vehemence. He obviously cares deeply about the thoughts and feelings he shares but is at all times respectful of his reader. He repeatedly explains that everyone has several choices and urges his reader to make those only choices that are in her or his long-term best interest.

In addition, meanwhile, Godin creates a multi-dimensional context, a frame-of-reference, in which to anchor his insights and recommendations throughout the narrative. He skillfully uses what I describe as a bi-polar strategy: passively but alertly observing what is happening (and not happening) in order to recognize and understand the ever-changing realities of the world that we share and then actively challenging whatever demeans and diminishes anyone's dignity. Finally, Godin utilizes the manifesto genre as a means by which to celebrate humanity at its best, not as an ideal beyond human fulfillment but as an attainable destination if (HUGE "if") vision, faith, courage, integrity, and commitment are sufficient to the formidable challenges that await each pilgrim.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
great great great book
Published 1 day ago by David Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Pill-MGTOW- Rugged Individualists
Red Pill-MGTOW- Rugged Individualists
Reread: 2 of 8

Ship it. Be a lynchpin, not a zombie. Share the art! Read more
Published 1 day ago by xtime Past
4.0 out of 5 stars BFO
This book was a "Blinding Flash of the Obvious" for me. I have never thought of myself as an Artist, although some unkind critics may have referred to me on occasions as a B.S. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Rodney J McAtee
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this Book.
Great Great Read. Seth is Gold.
Published 4 days ago by Matthew Naderi
4.0 out of 5 stars You should read this book
There is a lot of good information in this book. Ask yourself if you are a linchpin or not. If you don't know, you should read this. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Mark Fischer
4.0 out of 5 stars Next step is action
Makes me think and think again.
Published 9 days ago by Ponbra
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic, Vague 'Insights' Packaged as Wisdom
Very generic business book. Good for young people (I guess?) or for people that have just realized that they need to work for a living. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Ben D.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a strong showing by Mr. Godin
With Linchpin: Are You Indispensable, author Seth Godin makes the case that we need to stand out from the crowd and be indispensable to be successful. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Rebecca Mugridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read. Good for motivation.
Published 20 days ago by Grevador
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent boost for practicing what we love
There is something that we all love to do, and perhaps are called or created to do, whether we've completely abandoned it or not. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Ben Schwenk
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More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of eighteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It's Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com,. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at sethgodin.com


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The Linchpin - As Pat Traverse says: Gettin' Betta'
Mark, I've now read the book twice. And each time through I find some additional thought or new point to ponder. I also follow Seth's blog, and I've read Meatball Sundae and Tribes, and as good as those books are, this one's better. As I've read the book, I've found examples of Linchpin... Read More
Jan 25, 2010 by PG 73 |  See all 3 posts
What makes YOU a Linchpin?
There is no simple answer for your question but I can try to elaborate why certain people have special attribute that others don't.To be able to relate to other as a human being other than what can I get from you, to feel their pain and want to lessen their pain anyway you know how, and most of... Read More
Jan 26, 2010 by N. H. kim |  See all 2 posts
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