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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godin's most important book...thus far
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...
Published on Jan. 26 2010 by Robert Morris

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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
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 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...
Published on March 14 2010 by Paul P. Alisauskas


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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
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
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.

Near the downtown area here in Dallas, we have a Farmers Market at which some merchants offer complimentary slices of fresh fruit as samples. In that spirit, I now provide three brief excerpts from Godin's book.

On becoming indispensable to customers: "Here's the win (actually, there are two).

"If you want customers to flock to you, it's tempting to race to the bottom of the price chart. There's not a lot of room for profit there, though...In a world that relentlessly races to the bottom, you lose if you also race to the bottom. The only way to win is to race to the top. When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, and more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable....

"Second, the people that work for you, the ones you freed to be artists [i.e. creators of unique, compelling, and substantial value], will rise to a level you can't even imagine. When people realize that they are not a cog in a machine, an easily replaceable commodity, they take the challenge and grow. They produce more than you pay them to, because you are paying them with something worth more than money....

"As a result of these priceless gifts, expect that the linchpins on your staff won't abuse their power. In fact, they'll work harder, stay longer, and produce more than you pay them to. Because everyone is a person, and people crave connection and respect." (Pages 35-36)

On résumés: "If you don't have a résumé, what do you have? How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects? Or a sophisticated project an employer can see or touch?
Or a reputation that precedes you? Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up? Some say, `Well, that's fine, but I don't have those.' Yeah, that's my point. If you don't have these things, what leads you to believe that you are remarkable, amazing, or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don't have more than a résumé, you've been brainwashed into compliance. Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people kill for - those jobs don't get filled by people e-mailing in résumés." (Page 73)

On the power of being genuine and transparent: "Virtually all of us make our living engaging directly with other people. When the interactions are genuine and transparent, they usually work. When they are artificial or manipulative, they fail.

"The linchin is coming from a posture of generosity; she's there to give a gift [no-strings support of your efforts to succeed]. If that's your intent, the words almost don't matter. What we'll perceive are your wishes, not the script.

"This is why telemarketing has such a ridiculously low conversion rate. Why corporate blogs are so lame. Why frontline workers in the service business have such stress. We can sense it when you read the script because we're so good at finding the honest signals." (Page 214)

For various reasons previously indicated, I hold this book in very high regard and conclude my review of it with one more observation: The person whom Godin characterizes as "indispensable" is defined by what is indispensable to that person. It could well be, for example, a sincere desire to be of service to others. Or it could well be a sincere desire to offer unconditional "gifts" of trust, faith, respect, and candor. Those whom Godin characterizes as "artists" possess the vision, faith, courage, integrity, and commitment needed to create -- in collaboration with others -- a "post-commercial world that feeds us, enriches us, and gives us the stability we've been seeking for so long." That said, it would be a serious mistake to underestimate or ignore the importance of self-interests. Those who create the world to which Godin refers also feed and enrich themselves as well as those whom they serve and with whom they share a community of faith. Only then can they obtain for themselves as well as others the stability they have been seeking for so long. That should be our vision and Godin challenges us to fulfill it.
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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
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This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
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
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Be different, be valueable - without quitting your job, Nov. 17 2013
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This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
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
By 
John Miewald (Carlsbad, US, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Look at Changing Your Approach to Work, March 25 2010
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
"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. In the meantime, you are wondering what he's trying to tell you.

A solution for this lack of orderly development of his ideas is to start with the drawing on page 230 and go on to read the summary that follows. Then, go back and read the book from front to back. It will make a lot more sense that way.

Despite the book's weaknesses, if you haven't decided to make the world a better place by being a caring innovator, you need this book. Get a copy and read it . . . and keep reading it until the point sinks in. I think it eventually will.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thin Gruel, March 14 2010
By 
Paul P. Alisauskas (Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
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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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Linchpin, Sept. 24 2010
This review is from: Linchpin (Paperback)
There was only one chapter that I got anything out of. I would not recommend this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linchpin - The new future of business and human relations, March 13 2010
By 
Michael Dundas (London, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
Linchpin by Seth Godin was a really good book and was released at the perfect time in my life and career.

Linchpin discusses many topics including how it is necessary for individuals to exert emotional labour while at work, the need to stand out and be indispensable, how our brains are wired to naturally resist becoming a linchpin. How management, history, and school has taught us to follow the rules, work hard and you will be rewarded and why this no longer will ensure a happy and prosperous future. These and other concepts are tied together very well, and give the reader a new perspective.

For some it will drastically change their perspective on work and their interactions with others in all areas of their life. For others that are already on their way to becoming a linchpin, it will provide guidance and ideas for growth and improvement.

While I believe that many industries will and do resist the "Linchpin way of thinking" due to historical concepts of what worked in the past, eventually it will take hold in all industries. It has to, and this becomes more and more obvious as you read the book. The previous and in some cases current ways of running businesses, working with customers, and fellow employees are no longer viable. Clear real world examples are given as well as science to back up the concepts and ideas presented.

Although the entire book was excellent, two sections that "registered" with me on a very intimate level were More cowbell and Honest signals in every day life. More cowbells is something that I have realized my mother taught me growing up. Basically, if you are going to do something then do it. Don't do it half way, or partially, do it. Honest signals in every day life discusses concepts such as micro-expressions and the basic idea that we as humans naturally detect who is honest and sincere and who is not and we react accordingly. The non-verbal communication registers with us much more than what is said.

A few of my favourite quotes:

When your people do what they do because they love it, it works. Even if they're not as technically adept as the competition.

The reason start-ups almost always defeat large companies in the rush to market is simple: start-ups have fewer people to coordinate, less thrashing, and more linchpins per square foot.

It is okay to have someone you work for, someone who watches over you, someone who pays you. But the moment you treat that person like a boss, like someone in charge of your movements and your output, you are a cog, not an artist.

People are not going to follow you because you order them to ... Linchpins don't need authority. It's not part of the deal. Authority matters only in the factory, not your world.

People follow because they want to, not because you can order them to.

The linchpin is able to invent a future, fall in love with it, live in it ... and then abandon it on a moments notice.

Management, entrepreneur, leader, worker, mother, father, or spouse there is a message for everyone. All in all this book is about growth. Learning to become a linchpin while respecting the needs and concerns of others.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consider yourself pushed, Feb. 10 2010
By 
Lindsay Calder "GooseEMI" (Calgary, AB) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (Hardcover)
Your job is in jeopardy. The societal system we've been following for the last 150 years has expired. Like milk a week past it's expiry, it doesn't smell terrible yet, but it's no longer a safe bet. We've been raised to believe that - so long as we followed direction, did what was expected of us and didn't make a scene - we'd be taken care of. We'd be offered a good job, be paid a decent wage, and have a retirement package waiting for us at the end. There are two basic truths that made that system work - 1) labor was fairly scarce and geographically based, providing us with a reasonable amount of job security, and 2) competition was fairly limited, due (again) to geography as well as the significant cost to starting a rival factory. The rules have changed.

With virtually limitless options for consumers, people are making buying decisions in one of two ways - 1) what's cheapest, or 2) what provides value beyond the tangible product. We're never going to win in the price war. As both companies and as employees, we now compete on a global level. New competitors spring up daily; competitors that will provide average quality work, but do it for less money. If we can't win on price (and unless you're Walmart you can't, long term anyway), our only option is to provide such a unique experience for our 'customer' (and sometimes that customer is your boss) that we become indispensable to them. The option of showing up, doing what you're told, and having the system take care of you is dead.

The people who are thriving today are those who Seth describes as artists. Not artists in the sense that they paint, or draw or compose, but artists in that they provide value to other peoples' lives above and beyond what's expected of them. They live beyond the training manual. These people are not replaceable cogs in their company's machine. These people are linchpins - indispensable components of the whole. They're the baristas that make you feel so good you're willing to walk across the street and pay $2 more for your coffee just to interact with them. They're the personable flight attendants that are a major part of the reason you're loyal to one airline over the other. They're the accountants that are actively looking for new and unique ways to save you money on your tax return. Industry is irrelevant. These people invest emotional labour into their work. They solve interesting problems. They lead. They engage with people. They are artists in the truest sense of the word. And you can be one of them.

As Seth illustrates brilliantly in Linchpin, the old system is dead. It's not a debate, it simply is. You can either ignore that fact (as the automotive, newspaper and music industries have done) or you can do something about it. You can choose to provide exceptional value. You can choose to provide more than what your job description and training manual tell you to do. You can make a tangible difference in the lives of your customers, by exerting emotional effort and bringing your unique gifts to work. Choose to do that, and the new world order will reward you. But make no mistake; it is a choice, and it is up to you to make it. No one's saying it's easy. It takes effort, courage and a degree of tenacity. And, as Seth says, "It's possible that no one ever pushed you to be brave enough to go this far out on a limb...consider yourself pushed."
([...])
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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin (Hardcover - Jan. 26 2010)
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