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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? [Paperback]

Seth Godin
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 26 2011
"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 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 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. They may not be famous but they're indispensable. And in today's world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom.

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."

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Product Description


For anyone who feels trapped in a labyrinth of tradition, this book is compass, map and sledgehammer BUSINESS DESTINATIONS, February 10

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

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 12 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing read! April 15 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an awesome book! I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone :) Very informative and written very well. I love Seth Godin :)
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives an interesting perspective on our current economic structure and does a great job and pointing the reader in many different directions. It promotes independent thinking, tackles how to redefine yourself from a "cog" in the system, and offers insights on how to build something completely separate from what you are now doing.
This book is a great read for anyone feeling stuck or looking for new ideas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seth Godin's Best Aug. 19 2013
This is really a great book with important ideas for anyone in the working world. It is a short read. Perfect for new graduates.
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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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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thin Gruel March 14 2010
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 spirit of public service, to write a review of ANY work I've purchased from Amazon (and that number is in the hundreds).

From the old saw about fat books and thin books, this one, thin already, has about a page worth of (questionably) original thought vying to be noticed. If you've read the reviews above, you've already read all you have to. (Personally, I think he lifted the conceptual premise of this book from a small section of Thomas Stewart's Intellectual Capital and then riffed on the concept for a couple of hundred pages.)

The author notes in the book that this is his twelfth effort since 1999. Something about the tone of this book suggests to me he's travelling in a well broken-in saddle. However, you'll perhaps derive some unintended enjoyment from his half-baked theories on economics, social organization, politics and (don't miss it) neurophysiology. Just don't pretend there's any serious scholarship here. (Oh, and careful your "lizard brain" doesn't eat your homework.)

Want some advice as to how to actually BECOME a so-called "linchpin"? You'll find him quoting from a plethora of sources, but not a single original idea on the "how?".

The only possible utility of this book for me, was to cross off the list of credible endorsers, the people who gushed eloquently about its greatness.
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