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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? [Hardcover]

Seth Godin
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 26 2010
"The only way to get what you're worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about."

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 different. It's 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 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. Linchpin will show you how to join the likes of...

*Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces.
*Marissa Mayer, who keeps Google focused on the things that really matter.
*Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a résumé.
*David, who works at Dean and Deluca coffeeshop in New York. He sees every customer interaction as a chance to give a gift and is cherished in return.

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."

Frequently Bought Together

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? + Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us + Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter
Price For All Three: CDN$ 53.30

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"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say."

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still-one, to be exact-can boast his own action figure. . . . Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."

"This book is a gift."
-Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder, The Acumen Fund

"If Seth Godin didn't exist we'd need to invent him-that's how indispensable he is! You hold in your hands a compelling, accessible, and purpose-filled book. Read it, and do yourself a big favor. Your future will thank you!"
-Alan Webber, Founder, Fast Company

"This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it's already happening around you."
-Tony Hsieh, CEO,

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still - one, to be exact - can boast his own action figure....Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."

About the Author

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, a sought-after lecturer, a monthly columnist for Fast Company, and an all-around business gadfly. He’s the bestselling author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, The Big Red Fez, Survival Is Not Enough, and Purple Cow.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godin's most important book...thus far Jan. 26 2010
Others have their own reasons for praising this book. Here are five of mine. First, this is by far Godin's most personal book in which he reveals more of his emotions and "soul" (for lack of a better term) than he has in any of his previous books. Also, from the beginning, he establishes a direct and personal rapport with his reader. I felt that he had written this book specifically for me. Although he and I have never met, I felt as if he were speaking to me and discussing ideas with me as if we were engaged in a face-to-face conversation.

Moreover, unlike in most of his previous books, Godin does not climb up into a pulpit and launch a tirade, engaging his audience with a confrontational tone and Old Testament vehemence. He obviously cares deeply about the thoughts and feelings he shares but is at all times respectful of his reader. He repeatedly explains that everyone has several choices and urges his reader to make those only choices that are in her or his long-term best interest.

In addition, meanwhile, Godin creates a multi-dimensional context, a frame-of-reference, in which to anchor his insights and recommendations throughout the narrative. He skillfully uses what I describe as a bi-polar strategy: passively but alertly observing what is happening (and not happening) in order to recognize and understand the ever-changing realities of the world that we share and then actively challenging whatever demeans and diminishes anyone's dignity. Finally, Godin utilizes the manifesto genre as a means by which to celebrate humanity at its best, not as an ideal beyond human fulfillment but as an attainable destination if (HUGE "if") vision, faith, courage, integrity, and commitment are sufficient to the formidable challenges that await each pilgrim.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want To Ensure You Can Always Find Work? Sept. 25 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Read this book. A college or university education isn't enough anymore in the new economy. You need to stand out, be indispensable. This book breaks it down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." -- John 9:4 (NKJV)

Seth Godin painstakingly explains in Linchpin how the world of work has shifted so that "just doing your job" is a recipe for being dead while you still live . . . and having lots of job insecurity. His solution is for you to care about the results of your work, to reach out to others with your genuine emotions, and to innovate in ways that create something others appreciate . . . whether or not it has immediate economic value. Basically, he's suggesting you become a human being rather than a cog in a bureaucracy or complex process. He calls this being an artist.

I found this aspect of the book to be its main strength: A lot of people don't realize that they need to be innovating in ways that delight other people . . . rather than just pretending they are still in high school and trying to get along by fitting in.

I dislike mechanical metaphors as a way to encourage people to be less machine-like. Linchpin as a metaphor didn't work that well for me. His point is that since everyone else is just going through the motions of following orders, your humanity in seeking to make things better will make you indispensable. It's nice to think that's true, but the book doesn't contain any evidence beyond some anecdotes . . . many of which are about people I've never heard of or read about.

The writing style suggests that a lot of the book is mostly a cut-and-paste job from blogs. If that's the kind of choppy writing that appeals to you, you'll like this book better than I did. I thought it could have used a good editor. Why? You have to read a long time before he gets around to defining a lot of his concepts.
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1.0 out of 5 stars would have made a great article July 7 2014
By Michele
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
he has one idea, it would have made a great article, but it is not worked through enough to be a book. It needs a serious editor. It repeats and repeats and repeats the same information, there is no real research.

no worth the money, just get a used copy, or a 0.99$ ebook copy.
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By J. A. Broad TOP 1000 REVIEWER
I've had this book for awhile but I've read so many other Seth Godin books I didn't feel like reading this one until recently ... I should have read it sooner. This is a very inspiring and practical book for employees and entrepreneurs. If you want a raise, you want to grow your business or you want to have a greater impact on others - this book is for you.

He talks about the hierarchy of value. It's very thought provoking for you to consider where you fall in that and what you can do to make sure you're always moving up in the hierarchy because the work gets easier and the pay gets higher (the financial and emotional rewards of what you'll do).

And it was an excellent reminder to SHIP. Picasso painted many paintings ... you can probably only name 3. Picasso shipped.
The habit of producing to ship is huge. More than anything else it leads to success. It's easy to scare yourself out of shipping because you're not ready though. Saturday Night Live goes on each week whether they are ready or not. This section of the book was excellent for anyone that has taken their foot off the gas pedal in their job. He also explores the reasons we do this (fear!) and why it's happening.

Yesterday's remarkable is today's really good and tomorrow's mediocre.
No good ideas? Ok tell me your bad ones. You don't need more genius. You need less resistance.
You can't fit in AND stand out.
There were lots of great nuggets in this book.

If you've never read anything from Seth Godin this is a GREAT place to start. If it was my first time reading his books I probably would have given it a 5 but because I've read so many others by him (The Dip is probably my favourite) his message was very similar and therefore has a slightly reduced impact for me.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well, Are You Indespensible?
If not, then you will be replaced by someone who goes the extra mile to be! A Linchpin. Someone who holds it ALL together. Whether it be an employee or a self made person.
Published 6 months ago by Christopher Shoesmith
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read!
This is an awesome book! I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone :) Very informative and written very well. I love Seth Godin :)
Published 6 months ago by Steph de Koning
4.0 out of 5 stars Be different, be valueable - without quitting your job
This book gives an interesting perspective on our current economic structure and does a great job and pointing the reader in many different directions. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zach Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin's Best
This is really a great book with important ideas for anyone in the working world. It is a short read. Perfect for new graduates.
Published 14 months ago by John Miewald
5.0 out of 5 stars encouraging book
I got introduced Linchpin by a colleague at the time I neither read any Seth Godin's book nor heard of him. Read more
Published on June 14 2011 by Kyle
1.0 out of 5 stars Linchpin
There was only one chapter that I got anything out of. I would not recommend this book.
Published on Sept. 24 2010 by Lee Rob
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying, bite-sized self-help style
I haven't returned a book in a while, but this one is definitely going back. It's written in bite-size sections, a-la typical business book style, which I find infinitely... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2010 by Stephanie A. Lemieux
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Book by Seth Godin
A fabulous book by Seth Godin, I found it really inspires me to do my best.
Published on July 30 2010 by Rick Price
1.0 out of 5 stars Thin Gruel
There are some awfully forgiving reviewers who've commented on this book before me. I won't be. In fact, this book is SO bad, it's the first time I've been driven, perhaps from a... Read more
Published on March 14 2010 by Paul P. Alisauskas
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