- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (April 26, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591844096
- ISBN-13: 978-1591844099
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (684 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Paperback – April 26, 2011
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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 --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say."
"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."
"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."
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Personally, I favor books with a strong research base and primarily inductive reasoning. Given a relatively large number of studies, certain generalizations can be made with a reasonable level of confidence. As a retired teacher, still committed to better understand all the factors which bear on achievement in life, Mr. Godin’s book attracted me. Sadly, what I found was a deductive work with sometimes seriously lacking scholarship.
If we are all geniuses under the skin, Mr. Godin, postulates, then there must be some evil forces conspiring to prevent us from achieving our potential. In the case of Linchpin, those forces are several: the “old” American creed of hard work without complaining, a mind-numbing educational system, and our limbic brain. Readers are even told that if they disagree with the major argument here, it’s the resistance of our “lizard” brain. This made me think of the emperor’s new clothes.
The problem I have with many inspirational works is that they fail to recognize the complexity of people’s interactions with the outside world. The educational system, my area of particular interest, for example, is not nearly as constricting as Mr. Grodin would have you to believe. The individual’s interaction with the world at large is quite complex and depends heavily on traits possessed both through birth and early development, circumstances like family social class and community, and chance events. Even Mr. Godin recognizes that some individuals who shouldn’t end up expressing their genius in powerful ways.
Though I agree that there is indeed genius in each of us waiting to be realized, I would urge individuals to do their homework before rushing out to show the world their artistic brilliance. As a teacher, I’d certainly urge teachers to do their best to learn what actions on their part have the greatest impact on showing students that they are capable of great achievement. There’s a very low likelihood that telling individuals that they’re capable of great things, but guiding them toward expressing it has potential… and a research base that can be learned.
I prefer books that offer an educated and informative look into a subject, and then substantiate their claims. But in Linchpin Godin just goes on and on for 240 pages about virtually nothing. The last straw for me was on around page 220 out of 240 where he claims--without any evidence whatsoever--that cancer can be cured by the placebo effect alone. At this point I just couldn't finish the book and put it down in disgust. You can't just SAY this kind of thing. It's preposterous, dangerous, and deeply insulting to the countless lives (including some members of my family) that have been lost to this horrible disease. To say these people could have just thought themselves to better health is, quite frankly, disgusting.
This book is going STRAIGHT into the recycle bin. There is no way I will allow it to fill space on my bookshelf, and I surely won't be giving it to anyone else. All I know is that the carbon trapped in its pages deserves to be transformed into something more useful.
It is just as the late Christopher Hitchens once said: "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence."
So Seth Godin has written a very provocative book. I cribbed some quotes to use later in my own writing/teaching. But at the end, I'm asking myself, "So besides write and talk, what has Seth done down here in the real world with real employees and real bosses?" He lists himself as the CEO of something, but it's not a real company... So I'm thinking Seth is like my favorite preacher: full of good words and good thoughts, but at the same time, vastly out of touch with the real world. Check out all the unemployed talent in Hollywood and feel their pain. Consider the artists selling shoes because they want to eat. Perhaps there is genius within, but perhaps the world has a limited appetite/tolerance for greatness.