Linchpin is the first book that I've read from acclaimed business and marketing author Seth Godin. It was probably a good one to start with, though, because it couldn't have been more perfectly timed to coincide with all the other things I've been thinking about lately and trying to develop as far as my own career goals and passions take hold and I look to the future.
I have follow Godin's blog for a few months, and I already gel with the way that he writes—focused, to the point, without a lot of fluff (I could probably take a page out of his manual in that regard). Seeing that Linchpin is written like a series of blog posts on related topics with short sections and headings, then, meshed with what I had learned to expect and made it easy to start and stop while on bus trips or with shorter spans of time to read.
Linchpin resonated really deeply with a lot of the concepts and ideas that have been floating around in my brain for the last couple of years. Godin touches on the philosophy of gift economies as written about by sociologist Marcel Mauss and scholar–poet Lewis Hyde (see my whole series of articles on Connecting to Your Community for Hyde's heavy influence in my own philosophies).
He also speaks to the need to embrace that which makes us experts in the field of our passions, and using both creative, high concept, high touch right-brained processes in tandem with our analytical, high science, high logic left-brained processes to achieve success, à la Dan Pink's call to action in A Whole New Mind, and right along the lines of ye olde Ambidextrous Brain.
In other words, another piece of the puzzle has been put into place and I'm even better off in my quest for linchpin status than I was before. I also know what to call it now.
A Few Nuggets of Wisdom
Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done. That would be you.
The new American Dream, though, the one that markets around the world are embracing as fast as they can, is this:
- Be remarkable
- Be Generous
- Create art
- Make judgment calls
- Connect people and ideas
…and we have no choice but to reward you.
The essence of any gift, including the gift of emotional labor, is that you don't do it for a tangible, guaranteed reward. If you do, it's no longer a gift; it's a job. The hybrid economy we're living in today is blending the idea of capitalism… and the gift economy.
Here is one way to think about the list of what makes you indispensible:
- Providing a unique interface between members of the organization
- Delivering unique creativity
- Managing a situation or organization of great complexity
- Leading customers
- Inspiring staff
- Providing deep domain knowledge
- Possessing unique talent
And finally, a wonderful illustration that was accompanied by a whole chapter of explanation:
Linchpin is widely available from your favorite bookseller, and also for every major e-reader. Read it.
Next up on my shelf:
Zilch by Nancy Lublin
Bookshelf is a series of book reviews and thoughts about what I've read. Some are left-brained books, some are right-brained books, but the best books are the ambidextrous-brained books.