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Book review: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seth Godin dishes out thought-provoking advice on standing out and succeeding in an economy of commodity goods and services. His advice: in a world of cold, commercial systems, you must make transactions personal and human. Emotional labor sets you apart. You can’t compete simply on your ability to complete the task (the physical or intellectual labor). Interact and connect with people, and give gifts by by going beyond what your job requires.

The best summary I found is when Godin says,
"You must become indispensable to thrive in the new economy. The best ways to do that are to be remarkable, insightful, an artist, someone bearing gifts. To lead. The worst way is to conform and become a cog in a giant system."

Godin references several of his other books, including Tribes, Purple Cow, and The Dip. I really liked Purple Cow, and I’ll have to add his other books to my list.

I highly recommend this book to college graduates, entrepreneurs, and any ambitious businessperson.

“Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone else assumes to be the truth.”
Art is “the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person.” You can do it anywhere, in any job.
It’s not an effort contest; it’s an art contest. People don't care how hard you try, only what you deliver.
Real artists ship. Don’t let perfectionism prevent you from finishing and delivering.
Avoid busywork. Do only work that leads to shipping.
The more generously you give your art away, the more it will spread, and the more people will pay for it.
You can’t always do what you love, but you can always love what you do.

7 abilities of a linchpin
1. Providing a unique interface between members of the organization
2. Delivering unique creativity
3. Managing a situation or organization of great complexity
4. Leading customers
5. Inspiring staff
6. Providing deep domain knowledge
7. Possessing a unique talent

View all my reviews


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You can see all my book reviews on my Goodreads profile, and subscribe to my Goodreads RSS feed to be notified of new reviews. I also intend to keep blogging about WordPress, web design, and web-related topics on my OptimWise blog, which also has an RSS feed.

Would you miss this blog if I discontinued it? Please leave a comment.