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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth…

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Seth Godin

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1,394489,970 (3.83)8
The bestselling author of "Tribes" and "The Dip" returns with his most powerful book yet in which he explores why some people make a difference in their fields--and others don't.
Title:Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Authors:Seth Godin
Info:Portfolio Hardcover (2010), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Nightstand, Your library

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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin (2010)


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I'd heard about Seth Godin for a long time now, but this the first book of his that I read. It was an interesting place to start. Godin argues that a linchpin is a person who generates value through their creativity, making them indispensable to any company they create. He does not say that this is an easy thing to do or that it will win you the good will of your boss or your peers, but it can give you a form of security that traditional career paths no longer offer. It game me plenty of food for thought. ( )
  Colleen5096 | Oct 29, 2020 |
I am reminded of the work of Edward Tufte, a professor of statistics and 'guru' of data visualisation, who has a particular and public loathing of PowerPoint. He famously faulted it for the Space Shuttle Colombia disaster, arguing that the slides Boeing produced to help NASA assess re-entry risks obfuscated the dangers and separated out information that engineers would have better interpreted together.

For my part, I just find slides too distracting for the audience. Presenters fail to memorize their keynotes, so they glance at their slides, prompting their audience to do the same. In the end, the slides become content rather than illustration, and the presenter loses control over the flow and attention of the audience. I prefer to work without slides, just a laptop with images and examples available. I can cut and include more detail naturalistically, and I don't need a reminder for my lines because I've already practiced my speech.

I use keynotes, but I use them loosely, and avoid throwing them on screen unless they actually help the audience. My lectures all (in the 2000s), all, every single one, spoke off the cuff, not off by heart. For 60 minutes at a time, with a chalk and 6 great big black boards that you could slide up and down so you could have them all on display at the same time. You don't need to learn it off by heart if you know it already. Make it up as you're going along. You should already know your subject, just talk based on reminders and some visuals. ( )
  antao | Sep 17, 2020 |
Gets three stars because "I liked it," but I did not "really like it." When I started it, I thought much of the content would be statements of the obvious. And there are quite a few of those in this book. But Godin also provides some things to think about, including a thing or two that librarians can learn. I did find myself taking notes from the book now and then, and I will likely post some of those in my blog later. At the moment, I just wanted to get a quick review in so I can mark the book as "read" and move on.

The theme of being an artist is pretty prominent in the book. This does not mean painters, sculptors, etc. per se. Rather, it refers to those folks "with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done" (8). These folks are the linchpins of organizations, and while Godin says that they are (or should be) valued and thus command a better salary, so on. Yet the reality is that this is not always the case. Just look at the current economy, not to mention the way many companies mistreat workers to see the evidence contrary to Godin's idealism. I think that is a bit of a problem with the book; the guy is just too idealistic at times. For instance, he often talks about pushing your luck and breaking the rules. If you can afford to do so like him because you are pretty much self-employed, all good and dandy. Try doing that in a restrictive work environment, and you will be given a pink slip. Job loss these days is not a light matter, and no, getting fired does not always mean "it was fate" and something better will come along. As I said, the guy makes some good points, but much of the book is pie-in-the-sky.

Having made the point about much of the book being a bit too optimistic, as I mentioned, the book does make some good points. I would recommend scanning it, finding the good stuff, and skipping the rest. He does have some inspirational stuff for people to try out that is worth considering at least. I know I got some good ideas. So, skim this one. Besides, he can get a bit repetitive, so again, skimming may be best.
( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
I am a fan of Seth Godin. A good book - but I wouldn't say it was his best. You can never go wrong in taking the few hours it takes to read a Seth Godin Book. ( )
  Jolene.M | Jul 30, 2020 |
Not remotely impressed. For two primary reasons, among others. One, this just seems like a lot of fluffy filler. I have no idea how Godin made this into a full length book because I just got the feeling a decent, well thought out and written magazine article would have sufficed and even been more successful, perhaps. More importantly, I disagree with the title, premise and some possible conclusions that may be drawn from the book's thesis.

OBVIOUSLY there are typically "linchpins" in most companies and certainly most successful companies. That should be so transparently understood that I fail to see the necessity in even writing a book about it at all. However, I learned early in my business career, initially from advisors and mentors, later from employers and bosses, and sadly, from personal experience as well as witnessing such with various colleagues in many companies and businesses -- the thing that was drilled into my head from the beginning both verbally and through observation and experience -- is that NO ONE is EVER indispensable! To think someone is, is utterly foolish, totally naive, completely wrong, and places too much value on "linchpins," whom while no matter how valuable, can ALWAYS be replaced -- I've seen it dozens of times at companies throughout the country from the lowest on the rungs to the very highest, at Founder, President and CEO, etc.

So, I have well over 30 years of business experience and I've seen this play out too many times to count. I've seen teachers with experience, great success and tenure get sacked. I've seen founders of startups that quickly grew into multimillion dollar public companies get dumped by the board. No On is Indispensable! I literally have only seen one person at one company who very likely may have been and was treated as such and who basically calls the shots as VP Engineering -- after her former boss, the VP of Engineering with multiple degrees from Georgia Tech -- was let go to move her up. Bizarre world... Book? Not recommended. ( )
  scottcholstad | Jan 22, 2020 |
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Read it to inspire yourself. ... Read it for a new perspective on your job, your boss, your parents, your friends, your school, your childhood, your life.
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The bestselling author of "Tribes" and "The Dip" returns with his most powerful book yet in which he explores why some people make a difference in their fields--and others don't.

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