Are YOU Ready to Become a Linchpin?

Are you ready?
Are you ready?

Like most of you, I’ve gone through the public school system and learned English, Math, Social Studies, Science, P.E. and conformity. That in itself wasn’t a bad thing during the industrial age when industry required many workers that demonstrated conformity and careful following of instructions. The work was monotonous, but people were able to earn a comfortable living mass-producing widgets. Thus the educational system was tailored to produce pre-programmed ‘cogs’ ready to follow a set of instructions input by management.

“Sit down, shut up and conform with the rules.”

As is with most large systems burdened by bureaucracy, our educational system has been slow to evolve and has fallen behind in understanding what is currently in demand by society. Unfortunately, the idea of conformity and ‘going with the flow’ has become a de facto rule in making a living for oneself. Parents encourage us to stay in school, graduate and find a stable, well paying job. Peers calculate your success depending on the size your employer.

Seth Godin challenges this idea in his new book ‘Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?‘ Are you only doing the things your boss tells you, following instructions and keeping below the radar? Then you’re easy to replace, just as a cog in a machine. In Linchpin, Godin instead challenges you to become indispensable, be generous and create ‘art’. The ‘art’ Godin refers to is ‘something that creates change in another’ and can be applied to anything from products to services to that sincere smile that brightens your day from the cashier at the local coffee shop. This form of ‘art’ requires creativity and boldness to take your work from the mundane to the edge of the box. (Outside of the box may not produce the results you’re looking for).

Godin also sheds light on ‘resistance’ created by the genes passed down by our ancestors. The same fear that helped our ancestors survive has gotten a grip on our best ideas and hampered us with fear. But this fear keeps us from taking risks, standing out, or doing remarkable things because it feels safe to stay put. Staying put means you do ordinary work, and that increases your risk of being replaced.

If you’ve ever felt that you have more to offer the world, something better, something worth talking about, get the inspiration you need by getting a hold of Linchpin. This book is for anyone doing indispensable work, wants to do indispensable work and people who need to do indispensable work. Go, get out there and become a Linchpin.

Posts by Seth Godin on:

Making Art

Quieting the Lizard Brain (Resistance)

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16 thoughts on “Are YOU Ready to Become a Linchpin?”

  1. Hey Ken, I also went to a public school. Even at home, at work and even in religion, we are always told to conform. You’ll be branded as a deviant if you don’t follow the rules. While there are good and bad ways of breaking the rules, by standing out and challenging the status quo, the system will get better over time.

    I haven’t checked out Seth Godin’s Linchpin. Will do so soon enough!

  2. Hey Ken,

    I’m glad to seee another book review of Linchpin out there. I’m a big fan of the book and I think the ideas in it are awesome. It’s like a cross between a carer and personal development guide. While it provides you with almost no guidance on how to become a linchpin, I think that’s the point. If there was a manual for how to do it, then everybody would be one.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..Blogger Interview: David Garland from The Rise to The Top =-.

    1. @Srini: It’s definitely a great read and I’ll be going through it for the second time very soon. By the way, how has your car situation been?

    1. @Javier You’ll love Linchpin. Let me know what you think of it when you get a chance to read it! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by!

  3. I got to hear him speak during a webinar for the Brazen Careerist a little while ago. I graduated from college 2 years ago. My dilemma with the issue of being a cog in a wheel is that it hasn’t even led to the level of success they said it would. I did well in school. I went to college. They said this would get me a job and it hasn’t. I have had to figure other ways to pay my bills. This experience has been great because it has shown me that I could be an entrepreneur which is definitely not the path I was taught to follow. That being said if you wish to keep your job (or get one for that matter), you need to stand out. Another great book about standing out and becoming a “Linchpin” is The Legend of the Monk and The Merchant: Principles for Successful Living. Its important to do your best on what ever path you follow.

    Kimmy B.´s last blog post ..Making Videos Again &amp Getting It Together

    1. Hey Yu-Kai,
      Thanks for dropping by! I’ve been good. Just real busy since things on the business end is picking up. Hope you’ve been well too!

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