Gail's Reviews > Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Linchpin by Seth Godin
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Jan 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: business
Read from January 19 to 26, 2011

I love reading a well written business book because, so often, it's like the author found a way to describe a concept that, until that moment, I'd known of but never seen expressed by anyone else.

That's the best way I can describe reading Seth Godin's "Linchpin." I have turned down the corner of so many of its pages, I think I've doubled its size. But I just kept finding kernels of wisdom (seriously, almost every other page), all of which made reading this text valuable to me, both from the prospective of working in the corporate world (my job at the university) and my role as an artist and small business owner.

In a nutshell, Godin's book is a look at what it takes to make you indispensable in the workforce—whatever workforce you find yourself in. To read his words is to understand becoming indispensable means not letting the resistance (aka, your lizard brain) win at holding you back in your career and life in general. As Godin says, the lizard brain "sets out to sabotage anything that feels threatening, risky, or generous. Until you name, recognize and deal with the resistance, you will stay frustrated."

The other key point Godin makes is for us to embrace our art. Now, there's art in the literal sense, and there's art as defined by Godin, and that's anything that is "creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer; not only with the creator". Maybe your art is being the person who calms every one down in sticky situations. Or the one who goes out of his way to make sure a client is taken care of. But it boils down to being generous—of your time, of giving gifts, of embracing your art.

I'm failing to put into words here what makes this book such a high-quality read, so I'll just pull out a few particularly poignant sections and let Godin do the talking, because, quite honestly, in this genre, he really does do it best:

"Don't listen to the cynics. They're cynics for a reason. For them, the resistance won a long time ago. When the resistance tells you not to listen to something, read something, or attend something, go. Do it. It's not an accident that successful people read more books."

(On artists): "He leans into the work, not away from it. His energy creates energy in those around him; his charisma turns into leadership."

And here was a paragraph that, when I read it, I felt a thrill of (passionate) connection with, because it resonated so much to me:

"Passion isn't project-specific. It's people-specific. Some people are hooked on passion, deriving their sense of self from the act of being passionate. Perhaps your challenge isn't finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen."
**The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.*****
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne Gail - I would love to share your book review of Lynchpin on PhotoLovecat.com - what do you think?! - Anne Ruthmann


Gail Anne,
That'd be fantastic. Sure thing! (PS-Are we friends on here yet? I feel like we should be - haha!)


message 3: by Anne (new)

Anne I get your updates!! I'm just terrible about updating my own reading list. ;-)


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