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on February 3, 2010
Seth Godin's "Linchpin" is a tour de force and is essential reading for anyone needing to be reminded that there is genius and artist in all of us, no matter what our profession might be. It takes courage, hard work and self-discipline to follow much of what Seth is advocating, but through the seamless eloquence of his writing he proves how dignity, humanity and generosity make each and every one of us indispensable. His chapter entitled, "The Resistance," should be required reading for professionals and students alike.
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on April 24, 2010
Hey Seth,

This review is for you. I read your book "Tribes" and I liked it so I bought "Linchpin" and discovered, much to my dismay, that you do NOT enable "Text to Speech" on your Kindle books. I want you to know that I have stopped reading "Linchpin" and, that, as an author, you ARE dispensable....

Thanks for "listening"... or, should I say, "reading",,,
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on March 28, 2010
When a reviewer says "I felt like he was talking directly to me." usually doesn't work out that way (for me)...but this one DOES! Seth understands his readers...not by design, research, and plain hard work. Artfully written, the meaning for the reader will change as they do, finding new levels on each return visit. It will remain a vital part of my library for some time. ( I even went to my local hardware store and purchased a linchpin for a token reminder of my goal!)
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on April 25, 2014
Seth Godin’s somewhat recent but very relevant book, Linchpin, is collection of ideas that, although related to the world of business, can really apply to anyone. In his books, Seth tries to convince the reader of roles he believes companies and employees will need to satisfy in the future. Previous Godin books have discussed on the need to stand out, the need for good storytelling, and recently in this installment, the need to become indispensable.
One of his overall goals in Linchpin is to prepare the reader for what he believes is the current direction of the business landscape. He elaborates on the current environment and talks about the new anxiety people are facing. For the first time, white-collar workers fear for their jobs and young students stress over potential careers along with their “is college worth it?” dilemma. Seth makes the claim that this anxiety that people are experiencing is the result of the world changing and us not anticipating it. He believes that the recent economic forces of globalization and abundance mean that we are not going to be the workforce our parents and grandparents were. In those days, companies, but mostly factories, just needed people. It was an age where a worker could get away with average pay for average labor and companies could get away with average products for average people. Now in the modern world, companies have too much competition and consumers have too many options for that formula to apply anymore. Seth insists that the last way one can succeed in the modern economy is to be average. There is just too much competition to stand out by being average and with the current state of Asia there is a surplus of people who are willing to do ordinary work at an inexpensive rate. So, he argues the only way to succeed is to make ourselves indispensable, and the way we do that is by having two qualities he believes cannot be cheaply enforced in a manual: an element of humanity and a willingness to stray from the rules. When Seth talks about humanity what he really means is being able to make personal connections. He gives many examples of this, one being a coffee shop worker who goes out of his way to greet customers, adjust the store, and insist on asking customers how he can help. People like that bring humanity to their work and are rare to find in the world. These irreplaceable individuals make human connections that most people would not bother with, regardless of these connections being one of the best ways to boost customer satisfaction. A lot of people can follow the rules better than the next person, but not everyone can go beyond the written requirements and make these personal connections. Qualities like this will fill a new role that will make them irreplaceable, a role he calls, the Linchpin.
The issue some people may have after reading Linchpin is that they may think it is too abstract. Seth Godin stresses the importance of being indispensable, but besides a few key qualities he never really gives a step-by-step method on how. While this may upset some, I would argue that that is the point. The idea of bringing humanity to one’s work is very relative to their situation and also it would be ridiculous if he gave the reader a step-by-step process on how to disobey the rules. While his ideas may be abstract what he does do is give plenty of real-life examples to ground his ideas in, that after reflection, the reader can hopefully draw a parallel to their own situation. For instance, on page thirteen he states, “Sure, you can always succeed for a while with the cheapest, but you earn your place in the market with humanity and leadership.” That idea is pretty vague. But right after that statement he makes a real-life connection to the way it is applied in the Trader Joe’s grocery store. Godin is clearly well-read and cites all of his claims, even ending the book with lists of other readings that go further into the topics he discusses. The historical events he talks about all have grounding in reality and the ideas that he elaborates off of have support from real-life examples. After reading this book the reader will have gained a wealth of knowledge and also be inspired to delve further into the subjects he touches upon.
Personally, I believe Godin delivered on all his proposals within the book. For many readers he will point out things they already know, but he excels at putting it in an easily digestible format. For instance, at one point Seth talks about the pursuit of perfection and its diminishing returns. Harvard, for example, has ten percent of their applicants every year with perfect SAT scores. Yet even with this type of perfection thousands of them will still get rejected. Pursuing a perfection with this kind of limit will expend much of one’s resources without a guarantee of return. So, if someone wants to stand out and be a linchpin then they should not seek the goals that have clear and exhausting limits. They should seek the goals that have no limit and cannot be clearly outlined, unlike the perfect SAT score. Even though this is an idea some people may have already had, his digestible language will give the reader that ah-ha moment where they can finally put it to words. The Harvard example was just one, but by the end of it readers will have a greater understanding of some of their own ideas and be able to drive home those claims.
From what I understand, most of his books follow a similar formula. I have read his other installment, All Marketers Are Liars, and it is similar in length and format. Both are relatively short and written in an easy enough language that one can probably finish this in a day if they wanted to. This book is definitely worth the time, but just keep in mind that it is in the similar tried-and-true method as his other material.
Overall, I think I have stressed enough that I enjoyed his book. Even though it may have looked like I outlined it and explained all of his ideas, just keep in mind that I gave a snippet of what it offers. It is an entertaining and fun read that will definitely be motivating. He gives the reader enough answers to learn his values without having them rely on it as a manual. Although readers may not know exactly how to make themselves a Linchpin within their current situation, their eyes will be opened to the importance of filling this role in the workplace.
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on December 16, 2010
The content wasn't that surprising as I expected, but it's a harmless reading. It's an invitation of give the best of you when interacting with others or accomplishing something. To give your gift is to be creative about it and doing art in everything you do. For that you must overcome your "inner resistance" to change and do better. If you haven't read anything about this kind of topics, the book will be gold, if you have, then this will be a just-another-more-book-in-the-list kind of thing...
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on January 27, 2010
It's not a book, it's a call to action. As Godin says in the book, if you're waiting for your sign, this is it.

Chances are, you've considered these concepts before. You've felt undervalued, under appreciated, underpaid... it's time for you to make the movement toward a happier, healthier working life (and all other aspects of your life too!).

It's part self-help, part common sense, and a serious dose of wakeup call. It's hard to look at the way the working world in the same way.
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on February 10, 2010
I enjoyed the book immensely. This book in some ways reminds me of what Dan Pink has been saying for years now. The work environment HAS changed and we need to change with it or get left in the dust. If you are lazy and want a feel good book don't bother picking this up. There are no short cuts to success, but hard work can also be fun and rewarding. Seth has a nack for teaching in an entertaining fun way. Pick this book up if you want to make a difference in your life.
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on January 27, 2010
Seth Godin again scribes pages that keep me glued to his ideas - his vision of the workplace and the world so accurately describes me and those around me -- and what we are becoming. Whether out of necessity or middle-aged boredom we are seeking any kind of work that does not come with pre-packaged directions and Godin understands this. He addresses the joy and the pain of making these changes. I have literally been up until the middle of night unable to put this down.
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on January 26, 2010
Seth integrates thoughts from very different sources (Zen, Jung, Buddhism, Campbell) into one inspiring book focused on explaining why the life you live isn't the life you dreamed...and inspiring you to change.

Not by hokey self affirmations, but by showing you the hidden demon (resistance). I'm not sure if I buy his new definition of art, but he's at least inspired me to take on my resistance. Could be good, could be bad - but at least my lizard brain won't win.
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on March 15, 2010
This book is a tremendous tool for self-evaluation, but the real benefit is when you use it to identify the linchpins in your company. Seth Godin has put clarity and definition to what makes a true leader - someone who gets projects done. The people who "ship" regularly make everyone's job worthwhile, more effective and create value for our company. Thanks for such a great book. I'm passing on my copies to the linchpins, with a note of congratulations.
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