Posted by: Joseph S. Lima | January 25, 2010

Impressions of “Linchpin: Are you Indispensable”

Let me get this out of the way. If the earlier post about Seth Godin “Seth and Me” did not give you the idea that I am a Seth fanboy then this post most certainly will. I think that all of his books, blog posts, speeches and so on get to the point clearly and succinctly. He does have his detractors who say his work is too simplistic or not substantiated with rigorous data. I don’t disagree with those opinions. Yet he expresses his ideas, makes his case and lets you decided what to do with the information. Linchpin is no different.

Choice.  We all make decisions in Life, some small, some large, some consciously, some by habit.  Add these decisions up and you have your Life.  On one level Linchpin is about the choices we make in our professional careers, the downstream consequences and ideas on how to make changes if we so choose.  On another level Linchpin is about the choices we make in all aspects of our lives.

Seth Godin’s mantra is “be remarkable”.  Many of his previous books explore this simple idea within the context of business and marketing.  “Being remarkable” is a simple statement but a really hard concept for businesses to embrace because it means taking risks, standing out, challenging the status quo and failing (thereby learning) often. It is sometimes easier to eke out incremental operational efficiencies or fight competitors for market share in a declining market than it is to reinvent a new process or create a whole new market.

What about you?  Are you satisfied in your job or career? Is something missing? Are you having a tough time finding a new job? Tired of sending countless resumes and attending cattle-call career fairs?  Keep on getting passed over for a promotion?  This should sound very familiar to many of us (it does for me).  What if a solution to our professional frustration is to “be remarkable”.   What if you were unique or solved a unique problem or helped people without asking for anything in return?  Wouldn’t people be attracted to you, want to help you find a new job or go out of their way to make an interesting connection?  Yes they would.

At this point I will say that this book does not give you some step by step approach on becoming remarkable.  And if you have listened or read any self help books or speakers then you make think that some of the ideas in Linchpin are not new.   HOWEVER, if you are ready to challenge the education system that prepares us to be docile cogs in a white collar factory, if you are willing to stop listening to your lizard brain and let the artist inside of you shine and if you are willing to put in the effort so that you can really live your Life with no regrets then this book will move you in the right direction.

There was a letter from Seth Godin with the book when it arrived a few weeks ago.  It said to read the book twice before writing a review.  In the spirit of disclosure I read it once and rather quickly.   I will read it again, internalize the ideas some more, try to apply them in my journey and perhaps I will have a few different thoughts to share.  Until then you will be able to pick up a copy at your favorite outlet (like Amazon) on January 26th or you can read more reviews at the Squidoo lens.  Finally, if you do read the book, please share your thoughts in the comments section.  Thanks.


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