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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? | [Seth Godin]

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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.”

©2010 Seth Godin (P)2010 Random House

What Members Say

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  •  
    Anthony K toronto, Ontario, Canada 06-04-10
    Anthony K toronto, Ontario, Canada 06-04-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like the Muhammad Ali of Seth Godin Books"

    I Loved this book. Must say he was preaching to the converted but if your a linchpin it is good to brush up on your Linchpining skills.

    If your looking for step-by-step instructions read another book. It is more of a concept and innovative thinking is not a like a baking recipe.

    I was surprised to see the polar opposition of the reviews which tells me like Muhammad Ali in his prime "some loved him, some hated him but everyone watched him" Al Davis (paraphrasing) Everyone should read it and make there own critical assessment.

    I say it is worth a credit or purchase.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Lancaster, PA, United States 04-06-10
    Steve Lancaster, PA, United States 04-06-10 Member Since 2009
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    "I was expecting more"

    If you went to the bookstore and bought a bunch of books with motivational phrases, took those books home, cut out each phrase and put them in a pillowcase, and then shook that pillowcase, and then pieced each phrase back together at random, you would have something more coherent than this book.
    It's like when you are awake at 3AM and there's nothing on TV except infomercials.
    The idea of being a linchpin is a worthy idea and well worth pursuing. The problem is that this book doesnt even try to understand what exactly a linchpin is. At best, everything is anecdotal, strung together with feel-good hollow statements like 'resist the demon'. I think that was from Rocky III.
    I was expecting something a bit more scientific, maybe a personality exploration of the linchpin in his or her native habitat. Nope. How about a story detailing how a regular Joe goes from regular to linchpin? Nada.
    This book will underwhelm you.

    28 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonnie Montrsoe, CA, USA 06-09-10
    Bonnie Montrsoe, CA, USA 06-09-10
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    "Um.. Yeah... Then what?"

    I enjoyed listening to Seth Godin read his book--meaning, I liked his voice and reading style--but honestly, it felt like he was reading unconnected blog entries in no particular order. Sometimes it seemed as though the title of the "chapter" was as long as the "chapter." This is a made-up example, but a lot of the book sounds like this: Title: To be a Lynchpin is to be Indispensable. Body: If you are an Artist, and do only what you can do, then you are indispensable. You are a Lynchpin.

    Despite this, I patiently waded through the 4.5 hrs. of what I determined to be "Malcolm Gladwell lite" hoping for some sort of payoff. A call to action, a step-by-step plan--even a decent recap of what I'd just spent 3 weeks trying to get through. Anything! I won't be a spolier, but let's just say that I was laughing so hard at the way the book ends (because I felt like such a sucker) that I almost drove my car off the road.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Clare New York, NY, USA 02-12-10
    Anna Clare New York, NY, USA 02-12-10
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    "Fantastic!"

    This book is great. You don't need this book to tell you "how to" be indispensable, but it will come naturally once Seth Godin has INSPIRED you to be indispensable! It's about how to approach and execute your "job" functions so the net result of your performance day to day expresses who you are and what you can be. You are unique and indispensable, and deserve to experience and enjoy all of the gifts that you can give and receive through your life's work. I am encouraged, inspired and optimistic and have been recommending this book to everyone.
    Plus it is read by the author, who miraculously does not have an annoying voice.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States 06-10-12
    Joshua Kim Etna, NH, United States 06-10-12 Member Since 2005

    mostly nonfiction listener

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    "Are You Also a Godin Fan?"

    It seems whatever Godin is selling I'm buying. Gotta give him credit for that. My advice for Linchpin is to make it through the first half of the book - as the second half is really where the action is. Stick it out. Godin might have something to sell, but that does not mean he is wrong. His basic point that, that the economy has ripped away any security of careers or institutions, and that we need to change our outlook towards work, is probably exactly right. The question is what do we do with this knowledge. I like Godin allright, some folks may hate him, I think he is worth reading to generate a great discussion.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Mount Juliet, TN, United States 04-14-10
    Mark Mount Juliet, TN, United States 04-14-10
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    "Disappointed"

    I was looking forward to this book after hearing an interview with Seth Godin, but there is very little in the 4 1/2 hours that isn't self evident to any reasonably educated professional. The book may be valuable at the high school or early college level in exposing students to ways of thinking about a career/profession.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Midlothian, VA, USA 03-04-10
    Chris Midlothian, VA, USA 03-04-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Very Thought Provoking"

    For a career "corporate" guy, this was very challenging to read. But in a good way.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas Rockwood Koh Samui, Thailand 02-17-10
    Lucas Rockwood Koh Samui, Thailand 02-17-10 Member Since 2006
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    "Sophomoric Rant"

    Heard great things about Godin, but I think I should have started with an earlier book. This is a very silly, sophomoric rant chock full of Terminator 2 language like "The Resistance" used ad nauseam. The author spends an exhaustive amount of time talking about "creating art," and yet, at the end of the book, the term "art" is still left just as ambiguous as words like "success" or "happiness." Fun to talk about (cue the violins) but ultimately, not at all actionable. Godin suggests that people should fight against "The Resistance" by not using bullet point in their power point presentations and by not answering emails. These are the non-conformist dreams of a high school student convinced he's going to wear torn jeans and run the world. If you want to be indispensable, what you need to do is outperform everyone around you. Period. No book needed. And you had better be able to answer emails and had better be able to use bullets in your Power Points. It's not romantic, fun or as ambiguous as creating "art," but that's how stuff gets done. Renegades have and will continue to shape business, sure, but they first understood it. They knew the rules before they broke them. And first and foremost they had SKILLS. Today's cookie cutter workforce is only possible because people lack real skills. They have B.S degrees that are totally worthless in practical application. They can't chop wood or weld iron or write well or paint. So they come to an office and answer phones or go to a factory and gut chickens. Or they manage a Starbucks for the heath benefits. This is only sad if you assume that people HATE those jobs, and that's not an assumption you can make. Millions of people are happy as clams to put parts on a conveyor belt, thrilled to bits to sort mail, and totally content getting told what to do (you'll find, most people thrive with strong authority).

    38 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Tilton 02-10-10
    Luke Tilton 02-10-10 Member Since 2010
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    "AWESOME!"

    This book of creative discovery blow me off my chair. The "machine" that has held a generation in fear from expressing the artist on the inside is dying. Seth Godin uncovers the truth about the suppressive nature of the economic machine. Inside of each of use lies an artist that was made to create and be creative. This audible will propel you past the mediocre, and into a new level of creativity.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy Corman Liege, Belgium 04-05-12
    Jeremy Corman Liege, Belgium 04-05-12 Member Since 2011

    Marketing Manager @Auctelia & co-founder @CafeNlg. #Marketing #Communication #Advertising #Tech

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    "My fav above all. Almost nothing more to add."

    I've been recommending this book many times since I attended Seth Godin's conference in Laguna Beach about 2 years from now. I read it a couples times and finally even bought the audio version, no need to say how I stick into it.

    Of course, I definitively give 5/5 as overall score. If I really had to find a negative point, the only thing I could say is that Seth Godin miss a bit in linking all the dots into a story. If in one way or another, he could develop the big picture like he tells a story, I think he could have even larger audience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 56 results PREVIOUS126NEXT
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  • Allison
    warwickUnited Kingdom
    3/27/11
    Overall
    "Thought provoking"

    This is a well narrated book which challenges us to think about where we fit in the work of our society, how we can make ourselves valuable and stay so in changing times

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    8/20/12
    Overall
    "Useless, obvious and sometimes downright offensive"

    I got this book as Seth Godin keeps cropping up as the biggest name when it comes to self-directed and new-age work. I was terribly disappointed. His writing is long winded, but not in the old style of scholars who take their time to make their point well, but by the new-age self-styled gurus who waddle on for page after page in an unstructured and meandering way. OK, so that is enough criticism for the structure, which is terrible.

    Now for my real problem with this book: Seth Godin makes the big mistake of taking his ideas, which he thinks are great, and makes mental leaps involving making these ideas general advice without any scientific research.

    Finally, his ideas around how formal education is harmful is utter BS. This book isn't just useless; it is harmful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Julian Summerhayes
    South Brent, Devon, United Kingdom
    5/7/12
    Overall
    "Linchpin"

    My all time favourite Seth Godin book. The book that inspired me to leave the practice of law.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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