Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” as Want to Read:
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  32,130 Ratings  ·  1,596 Reviews
"This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it's already happening around you." — Tony Hsieh, CEO,

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 whatev
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published January 26th 2010 by Portfolio (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Linchpin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Linchpin

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
May 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
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'
Heidi The Hippie 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
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.
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
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
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Linchpin is occasionally over the top, repetitious, and disjointed, but the core message is sound, and it's passionately delivered. The basic premise of the book is that the world has changed, and that working harder, faster, and cheaper than your colleagues or competitors is no longer a guarantee of success. We need to do more than follow instructions. We need to fight against the notion that we are commodities; cogs working in a factory that can be easily replaced with a cheaper and more effic ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Книга очень неоднозначная...

Во-первых, очень растянута, много "воды", повторов и чрезмерного пафоса. Великий и ужасный Гудвин (зачёркнуто) Годин не столько даёт информацию к размышлению, сколько пытается "продать" читателям свои идеи, и делает это довольно навязчиво. Возможно, такой стиль рассчитан на какую-то более недалёкую аудиторию, но я бы с таким продавцом долго разговаривать не стал бы.

Во-вторых, предлагается довольно простая идея. Изложу её виде тезисов:

1) Современный мир фабрик штамп
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
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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,
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.
Answer: Yes.

That was easy.
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
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
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
Joel Gascoigne
Feb 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookaweek2010
I think Godin is fantastic, I admire his work and it is always very inspiring. However, in Linchpin, just like his other works, he does a great job of arguing that we need to change the way we do things in order to succeed. In terms of marketing, this book is a marketing book, but it is about marketing yourself. Godin rarely goes into "how" you can do what he suggests, and I guess that could be the point.

Overall, a great motivational read but you've still got lots of work to do, this does not gi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Are you a linchpin? If so, how? 5 107 Jan 22, 2015 12:09PM  
Spiritual and Sel...: Recommand books like 'The Alchemist ' and 'Linchpin'.' 3 35 Jul 27, 2013 08:58PM  
Business Book Worms: Book Club June 2013 1 8 Jun 26, 2013 06:04AM  
Mid-Michigan ASTD: Update 3 5 Oct 22, 2012 01:09PM  
  • Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust
  • Anything You Want
  • Read This Before Our Next Meeting
  • The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE
  • Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters.
  • The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself
  • Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination
  • Do the Work
  • Unmarketing: Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.
  • Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself
  • 48 Days to the Work You Love
  • Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.
  • Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition
  • Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even If You Hate Marketing and Selling
  • Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love
  • The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing
  • The Thank You Economy
  • Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality
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
More about Seth Godin

Nonfiction Deals

  • Hope and Other Luxuries: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Manic: A Memoir
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures
    $19.99 $1.99
  • Without a Doubt
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Paris Letters
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm
    $13.74 $1.99
  • My Cross to Bear
    $11.24 $1.99
  • The Warrior Ethos
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Chance in this world
    $5.99 $0.99
  • It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Everyday Zen
    $11.24 $1.99
  • In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Somebody Else's Kids
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Maude
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Here Is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food (Revised Edition)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Rational Optimist (P.S.)
    $14.49 $2.99
  • Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive & Creative Self
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Of Wolves and Men (Scribner Classics)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • God: A Story of Revelation
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book
    $10.95 $1.99
  • The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words, 1000 BC - 1492 AD
    $13.99 $2.99
  • I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen
    $11.74 $1.99
  • Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Things I've Been Silent About
    $4.99 $1.99
  • GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love
    $8.49 $2.99
  • The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dharma Punx: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings
    $10.99 $1.99
  • This Life I Live: One Man's Extraordinary, Ordinary Life and the Woman Who Changed It Forever
    $9.99 $2.99
  • An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists
    $8.99 $2.49
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change The World
    $7.74 $1.99
  • Catch Me If You Can
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Hit Refresh: The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft's Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
    $15.99 $2.99
  • We Are Not Such Things: The Murder of a Young American, a South African Township, and the Search for Truth and Reconciliation
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lab Girl
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
    $12.99 $3.99
  • American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Chancers: Addiction, Prison, Recovery, Love: One Couple's Memoir of Beating the Odds
    $10.99 $1.99
  • In a Different Key: The Story of Autism
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Pastor: A Memoir
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
    $14.95 $2.99
  • To Have or To Be?
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Happy Accidents
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Bridge of Spies
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors: The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Working with Emotional Intelligence
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis
    $13.99 $1.99
“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.”
More quotes…