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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 26, 2010
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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.
"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."
Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book re enforces some beliefs that I've always had. Work on your art.Published 22 days ago by Sushant Athley
You want to make tons of money, and be that one employee that the boss wants to keep? Better yet, do you want to be the boss? If so, read thisPublished 1 month ago by Sam
Seth does it again! Great read on what it takes to be indispensable to your employer.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
When a book is really good, I will sometimes throw it across a room and scream "I always thought that was true, but never had the (guts, ambition, intelligence) to (say, write)... Read morePublished 2 months ago by shopper1
The linchpin idea resonated, hence the reason that I bought the book. I've only read a couple of Seth's books and I now remember why...for me, he's all over the map. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joe Mills
Slow to get to the point and repetitive. I like Seth Godin but I felt like I wasted my money.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
It is without question in the top five most powerful books I have ever read; in the realm of personal subjective inspiration and introspective.powerful book.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer