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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  42,110 ratings  ·  2,003 reviews
In bestsellers such as Purple Cow and Tribes, Seth Godin taught readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. But this book is about you—your choices, your future, and your potential to make a huge difference in whatever field you choose.

There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team: the linchpins. These
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Portfolio
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Marianna De I have no idea why it's in spanish, but it must mean it's a hardcover.…moreI have no idea why it's in spanish, but it must mean it's a hardcover.(less)

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May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Not quite finished with this yet but it seems as if it could be condensed to a one page blog posting. In fact I wonder if he just expanded a blog into this. It is so incredibly repetitive without inventing any major insights. "Be indispensable and be artistic". Give me a break, that isn't even an insight, it's a fact if life. Try to be useful at your job and contribute more than just the minimum. Thank Seth.
Now that I finished, I reaffirm the wasted hours I spent reading this book. It is a boor
Whenever we went to the McDonald's near my college campus, it was like dining at a five-star restaurant. At this particular Mickey D's, every single customer was greeted by the most cheerful and friendliest guy I have ever encountered. He held the door open, asked you about your day, stopped by your booth to see how your Big Mac was, and engaged you in some witty repartee.

People loved this guy. The Husband and I certainly did. Its been 20 years since I last laid eyes on the guy and while I can'
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
It is indeed true, most of books such as these can be summed up in few paragraphs. Let me try and summarize 242 pages of this book.

Linchpin is the person who is indispensable in the organisation, who doesn't do what he/she is being told, brings emotional labour to his job, is an artist.

Thing is our schools, workplaces encourage people who keeps head down, fits in and does what he/she is being told. In this economy, that person, like an average factory worker, is replaceable.

All of us are artist
Rob Brazier
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Like many books in this genre, this book suffers from being too long. The core content, however, is fantastic. Seth's thoughts on "shipping", beating the resistance, and giving gifts were useful and inspiring. I'd recommend the audio book to anyone--makes it easier to skip past the repetitive chunks once you've got Seth's point. ...more
Heidi The Reader
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Seth Godin draws on his experiences in business and life to convince the reader to be a linchpin rather than a cog in the machine of work.

He says it better than I did: "This book is about love and art and change and fear. It's about overcoming a multigenerational conspiracy designed to sap your creativity and restlessness. It's about leading and making a difference and it's about succeeding." pg 2

You have our attention, Godin. What do we do?

Through a series of blog-like sections, Godin explains
Carol (Bookaria)
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction
“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.”

I picked up this book because I recently subscribed to Seth Godin's blog and have found his advice on business and organizational culture insightful and useful. 

He published this book a few years ago about the new skills that professionals need to polish in order to stay relevant and indispensable in the informational age. The book feels like it was recently p
Francis Fish
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone stuck in a rut, or afraid of losing their job
Seriously, if you want to know why your children's school seems to not be teaching them to think, if you want to know why you hate your job, read this book.

Our entire education system is built around creating good factory workers, who have no initiative and do what they're told. You may sit in a call centre or push numbers into a computer all day - but it's still a factory, think about it. Guess what - the factories are all gone or on their way, and cost-cutting means that you can't compete with
Riku Sayuj
I have long suspected that Seth was a Communist-evangelist and that his books propagated the gift economy. Yes. Here is the clincher, and it is the best part of the book too.

Seth’s take on:

The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

This book isn’t about what you think it’s about. And it’s certainly not about the USSR. The key argument here is that small experiments in communism don’t work, because they are corrupted by the temptation to defect and engage in trade with neighbors t
Apr 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
I'm ambivalent on this one. A few years ago, I read another of Godin's books, Meatball Sundae, which explained that you cannot use "sundaes" (web 2.0 marketing) to sell "meatballs" (old-school, average products for average people). Which was a good argument, I suppose, except that Godin never really explained how you can transform your "meatballs" into "ice cream."

So when I picked up his new book, Linchpin, I wasn't sure what to expect. Unlike Godin's other books, Linchpin isn't about marketing
Apr 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Samuel Tran

I really hoped I could slip in, glean a few nuggets, give it two stars, and escape with a "not for me."
But, no. I think I am doomed to vehemently dislike every Seth Godin book I pick up.
There is just no substance here.
As a perky, slightly ADHD millennial blessed with an awesome job where I pursue my passions, I guess I'm just the wrong audience. I'm not in a rut and so being told over and over again to "fight the machine" and "be an artist" just left me eye-rolling. I thought I'd be the perfe
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
First, book name is wrong. It should be "Are you a valued worker?" or something like that. Author himself says no one is indispensable and uses the quote "Cemetery is full of indispensable people". Advices he gives do make sense: to give small gifts to your clients and customers in order to stand out, go extra mile not expecting anything in return and you will be successful.

But, he has a grudge against evil capitalism.
- Capitalism turns people into machines (Isn't any -ism doing that? Especiall
Amir Tesla
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: success
An inspiring book with a great message

From school to the workplace, we're all trained to act and behave within a specific framework and following certain rules vital to the production.

According to the "law of cold turkey" Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be accomplished for awfully close to free. And think for yourself about those who are in charge of managing those simple parts, Are the indispensable? Are they irreplaceable?

The message of the book is
Mar 01, 2010 rated it liked it
I've found myself reading several other Godin titles in the past so there must be enough there that I keep getting drawn back... but I do have to remind myself -- again -- that while Godin is a master of the blog format he just isn't up to the full-length book format. His ideas, while generally brilliant, come at the reader in bullet-point format and if they were condensed into a more flowing narrative they would be about 1/2 the length and not nearly so redundant.

So that's the major downside of
Dec 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
I have to read these type of books for work twice a year for a mandated "Team Book Club". As a caveat before getting into this, I hate things that are mandated. Also I read a lot and have a huge list of things I want to read, so having to take time out to read something like this, can feel like a bit of a waste of time.

So now, I like Seth's blog and check it from time to time when I have the time. This one should have stayed as a blog post. It would have been good in that length. In book form,
Malin Friess
Sep 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
I only gave this book one star. I was under the impression that Seth Godin's writing was similar to that of Malcolm Gladwell...Blink (which I thouroughly enjoy). This book argues that we should all seek to create skills such that we are the linchpin of our organization or company and thus irreplacable. I didn't buy into his arguments...he spoke little of higher education and/or specialization. I generally find no matter how special you are you are always replacable.

I suggest your time is better
Laura Noggle
Godin is the man! My 8th Godin book, this one was surprisingly good, and as always, right on point.

Recommended reading for anyone interested in career development. This one might get a second round, excellent reminders.

“The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship. Shipping means hitting the publish button on your blog, showing a presentation to the sales team, answering the phone, selling the muffins, sending out your refere
Mad Dog
Oct 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one; run for the hills, cover your children's eyes
Reading this book, I often thought of one of my favorite bumper stickers "Visualize Using Your Turn Signal". Of course, it is a funny and practical variation of the bumper sticker "Visualize World Peace".

This is a "Visualize World Peace" book, in a world in more need of "Visualize Using Your Turn Signal". Forget about being a "Linchpin", some of us workers need to make ourselves productive (as opposed to counter-productive). And many others need to increase their lagging productivity. How many t
Tom Bentley
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Linchpin is Seth Godin's challenge to do your life's best work. That's big: your life's best work. Its message is that no matter if you're a pizza cook, a shaman or a 30-year Member of the Board, it's time to make something--something that matters--happen. And to make it happen with clarity, with humility and with a generous heart. The book's message is appropriately urgent, because these are urgent times, where molasses-bound mediocrity suffuses the workplace, where convention pulls the air out ...more
Loy Machedo
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loy Machedo’s Book Review – Linchpin by Seth Godin

After watching Seth on TED talks and accidentally noticing his books on more than one occasion, I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase his books. I wasn’t sure if his books were worth the investment, but hey, what the hell.

But having done that, I must admit, I am impressed with the man. He is quite a creative crackpot who comes up with great ingredients and strange concoctions – some of which you might have tasted before but now being
May 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Will by: Amazon
Linchpin is one of those career self-help books that are popular airplane reads. I was ready to give it a terrible review, but then I spent an hour skimming it. During that abbreviated read, I ran across a simplified view of the modern workplace and how it differs from a naive and inaccurate view of the workplace of yesteryear, a few run-of-the-mill inspirational stories including one about Richard Branson that's memorable, and some ambiguous descriptive advice about how to stand out in your car ...more
Answer: Yes.

That was easy.
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a preachy, slightly condescending, some what annoying, repetitive book about how to thrive in a new era of work and a new economy. Sounds like I'm down on it, aye? Not at all. I loved it. It is full of ideas that are perfect for creative professionals. It outlines our past economy, school system, work mindsets and ideas about work. Bit by bit, it builds up a case for how to thrive doing what you love, giving to others and doing 'art'. His definition of art is broad, conceptual and not at ...more
Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Am I alone in thinking that every motivational work book could pretty much be summarized in two or three paragraphs? It's not that I don't enjoy them, because the style of this sort of self-help book tends to be very conversational and with lots of entertaining (or semi-entertaining) examples. But most of the time it seems like the author has about a handful of ideas designed to make you rethink your approach to your job/life/etc. and then spends two hundred plus pages belaboring the point. It's ...more
Elizabeth Schlatter
So I'd really been looking forward to reading this as I'm a total sucker for productivity books and podcasts (especially podcasts). And people seem to mention Seth Godin's name with hushed tones like he's a guru. Which maybe he is, but I'm not seeing it with this publication, which is essentially a longwinded pep talk about getting your act together and engaging creatively and passionately with your work and your life, but mostly your work. The first third of the book I kept wondering if he thou ...more
When I was young, I went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark with my mom. At the conclusion of the opening sequence, as Indy's escape plane flies away, my mom leaned over and said, "Oh my God. Is the whole movie going to be like this?" I had a very similar feeling when - on page 20 of his new book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? - Seth Godin asks the reader for "one last favor before you start..."

"Before I start? Is the rest of the book going to be like this?!?"

Divided into 13 chapters, each chapt
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52-in-2010
Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? By Seth Godin (pp. 256)

A pop-psych, business book that looks at the role of the worker. Godin makes the argument that the modern industrial workforce has reached its peak and people are no longer valuable by just their ability to just do their jobs or fill a spot on the team. Efficiencies in technology have made people easily replaceable. The middle-American white-collar job is on the way out, just like the blue-collar factory worker has phased out as a viable, f
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rich though rambling guide on how to become indispensable at work

Warning: If you absorb all business blogger Seth Godin’s advice, you could end up overworked and underappreciated. Godin’s antidote to mediocrity and conformity is so effective and convincing that it may have the unintended consequence of making you the go-to person for your whole organization. Godin stipulates that everyone faces a choice: An individual can choose to live day after day, year after year, languidly going through the
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a very thought-provoking book, about how to make yourself into a necessary person in your workplace. School trains us to be obedient and conformist, and to think "in the box". These are the qualities that management often prefers, but they are not the qualities that give one satisfaction in a workplace. A "linchpin" is an artist; he/she works in an innovative fashion, and not like a cog in a machine. There is no roadmap to being a linchpin; there is no formula to being an artist, because ...more
Mahmoud Shehata
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's amazing what Seth can do. The book gives you deep understanding of yourself, the world you live in and success as well. It is a motivational, philosophical and a business book at the same time. Somehow it is almost great in being all of those as well. A must read.
Rarely something just touches you that well. You will most definitely come across a chapter where Seth is describing you in person. No doubt.
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This newest book by former marketing executive for Yahoo and creative thinker Seth Godin has got to be one of his best. In it he asks the ultimate question- “Are you a linchpin?” Do you even know what a linchpin is? I know I didn’t until I read this book. Well a linchpin is a valuable piece used to hold screws together in many manufactured items and machines such as cars and motors. Without it the item will not work or function properly.

Throughout the course of this book, Godin examines several
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust

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“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work.”
“Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.

An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.

That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.

Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does.

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”
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