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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Hardcover – January 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843160
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say."
-Time

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still-one, to be exact-can boast his own action figure. . . . Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."
-BusinessWeek

"This book is a gift."
-Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder, The Acumen Fund

"If Seth Godin didn't exist we'd need to invent him-that's how indispensable he is! You hold in your hands a compelling, accessible, and purpose-filled book. Read it, and do yourself a big favor. Your future will thank you!"
-Alan Webber, Founder, Fast Company

"This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it's already happening around you."
-Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still - one, to be exact - can boast his own action figure....Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."
-BusinessWeek


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

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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Customer Reviews

Seth's books read a lot like his blog, condensing ideas into one page lessons.
G. McAllister
Seth Godin's premise in Linchpin is that if you are prepared to do your work as if it is your art then you become a linchpin, ie indispensable.
K. Gates
Buy this book if you are trying to get ahead, if you are striving to keep your job and to do more than just fit into the work place.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

301 of 319 people found the following review helpful By Debbie S. Glade on 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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299 of 319 people found the following review helpful By Bret L. Simmons on 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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90 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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