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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

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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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 09-01-11

Maybe you missed the point...

For those reviewers who found this book unsatisfying, I suspect they missed the point. This is easily Seth Godin's most important and insightful book since "Purple Cow". The point is, you are unique and capable of so much more than you have been sold to believe; you are ro can be a "Linchpin". This book/audiobook helped me make it through the most difficult year of my professional life. Saying that this book is "Inspiring" doesn't do it justice. Listen to it, accept the reality that Seth shares, and take control of your life.

Also, if you're familuar with Seth's previous audiobooks, this is easily his best performance. I love them all, but his audiobook performance has come a long way from "Purple Cow".

Thank you Seth Godin...

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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It gets better

Lots of good information, though some of it, like the concept of resistance, are "borrowed" from other authors. Most notably Steven Pressfield. The first part of the book is a little tough to get through, but he brings it all together in the second half. Well worth the listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bonnie
  • Montrsoe, CA, USA
  • 06-09-10

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.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

33 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adam
  • Crown Point, IN, United States
  • 10-03-10

Linchpins only need to know WHAT to establish HOW

This book is fantastic at outlining WHAT needs to be done in order to be a Linchpin. However, it does not tell you HOW. That is why there are some reviewers who will not like this book. Seth even addresses this type of thinking in this book by stating the fact that a map for implementation/leadership does not exist because if it did, then anyone could do it and it would cease to be a true work of art. A Linchpin is able to see WHAT needs to be done and makes their own map as to HOW to get it done and shipped.

If you want a step-by-step book of what it takes to be incredible, this is not your book and I would be highly suspect of any book that claims that it can contain a template for original creative greatness.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

26 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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

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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

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  • ROSS ANDERSON
  • 02-04-17

repetitive

The same information could have been imparted, with greater effect, on fewer pages. Rather repetitive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gustav
  • 08-20-12

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jose
  • 11-21-17

How to be an artist.

This book it will remind you the artist you are and it will make you feel it that is necessary to pursue this art because average people any organisation can replace but an Artist is not that easy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-31-17

Disappointing, simplistic US-style self help dressed up as insightful science

I like the narrator and there are some good elements of this story. However it is let down by shoddy examples and surprising citations. He claims that cancer can be reversed by the placebo effect and harps on about the cringeworthy genius of everyone, while at the same time being completely derogatory towards many professions. I found this to be populist and ill thought out. I’m sure it sold a lot!

Instead of this book, try something useful and well research like “how to have a good day” by Caroline Webb. Note that I like Seth, but I think it could have been so much better.

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  • realmusiclover
  • 08-13-17

Soooo worth it!

Seth gives so much value in this book. I love that he reads it too.
If you want to get fired up to do your best work and feel that the best is yet to come - I encourage you to take the time listen, to exactly why your feelings are correct!

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  • Rich Munn
  • 06-24-17

Wonderful

Many business books focus on scaling - it's refreshing to hear one that focuses on art.

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  • flat
  • 02-25-17

love seth godin

What made the experience of listening to Linchpin the most enjoyable?

always genius. listened to a few times and still love it. always galvanises me into action

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  • B B S
  • 06-23-16

Seth is an inspiration

Read it.

I highly recommend this book and have already recommended it to a friend.

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  • stefan
  • 02-03-16

soooo good!

incredibly eye opening and amazing to read. will definitely read again. really changes the way you see the world.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-26-15

Seth Godin Reminds Us That We Can Be Geniuses

A must read for anyone who feels they are one of the indispensable linchpins of an organisation.

This book reminds us, the factory workers, that our genius has been dampened, but that it can be found again.

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  • James
  • 05-08-17

One of Seth's best!

As someone who has always been the odd one out, and the quirky ideas man in a business, I loved the concept behind this book. Great philosophy and approach to standing out and being great at what you do.

And once again a brilliant piece by Seth, in his own words and voice!

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  • Kate
  • 12-08-15

A must read

This is a must read for everyone. It stretches your thinking and helps to explore what out of life you really want

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  • Julian
  • 07-29-15

Great book

Seth's honest insight and passionate delivery will get you up and moving. And if it doesn't? Then you weren't going to anyway

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  • Key Choice
  • 01-23-15

Game changer

I now view life and business differently. It makes sense. 10 out of 10 a must listen. Thank u Seth