Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

by Seth Godin


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This life-changing manifesto shows how you have the potential to make a huge difference wherever you are. 
Few authors have had the kind of lasting impact and global reach that Seth Godin has had. In a series of now-classic books that have been translated into 36 languages and reached millions of readers around the world, he has taught generations of readers how to make remarkable products and spread powerful ideas. In Linchpin, he turns his attention to the individual, and explains how anyone can make a significant impact within their organization.
There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there's a third team, the linchpins. These people figure out what to do when there's no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art. 
Have you ever found a shortcut that others missed? Seen a new way to resolve a conflict? Made a connection with someone others couldn't reach? Even once? Then you have what it takes to become indispensable, by overcoming the resistance that holds people back. Linchpin will show you how to join the likes of... 
· Keith Johnson, who scours flea markets across the country to fill Anthropologie stores with unique pieces. 
· Jason Zimdars, a graphic designer who got his dream job at 37signals without a résumé. 
· David, who works at Dean and Deluca coffee shop in New York. He sees every customer interaction as a chance to give a gift and is cherished in return. 
As Godin writes, "Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591844099
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/26/2011
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 58,920
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers that have changed the way people think about marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission MarketingPurple CowAll Marketers Are LiarsSmall is the New BigThe DipTribesLinchpin, and Poke the Box. He's an entrepreneur, the founder of several successful businesses, and a popular TED speaker. He writes one of the most influential business blogs in the world at

Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition ix

Introduction 1

The New World of Work 7

Thinking About Your Choice 28

Indoctrination: How We Got Here 39

Becoming the Linchpin 49

Is It Possible to Do Hard Work in a Cubicle? 80

The Resistance 101

The Powerful Culture of Gifts 150

There Is No Map 174

Making the Choice 189

The Culture of Connection 210

The Seven Abilities of the Linchpin 218

When It Doesn't Work 225

Summary 231

Acknowledgments 237

Bibliography 238

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"It's easy to see why people pay to hear what he has to say."

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still-one, to be exact-can boast his own action figure. . . . Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."

"This book is a gift."
-Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder, The Acumen Fund

"If Seth Godin didn't exist we'd need to invent him-that's how indispensable he is! You hold in your hands a compelling, accessible, and purpose-filled book. Read it, and do yourself a big favor. Your future will thank you!"
-Alan Webber, Founder, Fast Company

"This is what the future of work (and the world) looks like. Actually, it's already happening around you."
-Tony Hsieh, CEO,

"Thousands of authors write business books every year, but only a handful reach star status and the A-list lecture circuit. Fewer still - one, to be exact - can boast his own action figure....Godin delivers his combination of counterintuitive thinking and a great sense of fun."

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Linchpin 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
jmunz More than 1 year ago
This is the basic premise of the new book by Seth Godin - "Linchpin - Are You Indispensable?" I have to admit that this book took longer to read for me than what I thought it would. It is not an overly complex book in layout or form but for me it struck close to home on many topics that I have had to work through over the past several years. So I found myself reviewing sections and comparing with past experiences. Mr. Godin describes what it takes to become a linchpin in your current job or if that just isn't possible how to make changes in your life so you can become one. A linchpin is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen. He describes that the constant resistance to achieving this status in your company or in your life is our biological desire to survive which prevents us from taking risks. The current machine also inhibits this by educating you to follow processes and procedures that are meant to make you a replaceable cog in the industrial framework that we live in today. So are you indispensable? If you believe you are, make certain you fit the model described in this book. If you have never thought about it before, are struggling with the changes that are taking place in the work place, or feel you have lost control of your career then stop everything and read this book. What Mr. Godin provides is a clear description of where the world has ventured and for anyone who wishes to participate he gives them the new rules of engagement.
alphaneer More than 1 year ago
I read LINCHPIN and couldn't put it down and read it again months later armed with a highlighter. One of the key themes resonating the pages is the continuum of where average comes from, the attitudes of success, and the NOW moment for reclaiming the indispensability that has been thrown to the wayside in exchange for cogs, for parts, for industrialization and dehumanization. The Quadrants of Discernment that Seth maps out are one of those short pause and study moments. It's a tempting place to think of where people in your life fit in here, but if you take an honest inventory of yourself, you may find that fundamentalist zealot, whiner, bureaucrat, and linchpin tendencies come to mind. The idea here is that the linchpin really stands to be mutually exclusive and carries the traits of passion and discernment and dumps the rest. The "When It Doesn't Work" section gives the reader valuable ways to think through this problem. "My Boss Won't Let Me" is, perhaps, placed into the bread slicer and most of that loaf gets toasted. Do art and don't get caught up in monetization. The contrast of the influence Renzo the architect has in doing his craft and real tactics you can use when you're not a big name. Study the venn of indispensability and the venn of surrender-- it could be a fork in the road calling you to travel the straits of surrender with the same old scenery or travel the terrain of indispensability with the artists' cycle of continuous giving and not being a cog. One could use words like common knowledge or cheerleader manual to describe the book and so choose to occupy the quadrants of fundamentalist zealot and whiner. They travel the straights of surrender with a small canvas and two colors of paint, black and white. Where there is a group of them, there you will find the bureaucrat, keeping the passivity in order. Make and Give Art, Learn, Make More. Give it to the above mentioned. Try and fail because you have the right to.
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
Warning: If you absorb all business blogger Seth Godin's advice, you could end up overworked and underappreciated. Godin's antidote to mediocrity and conformity is so effective and convincing that it may have the unintended consequence of making you the go-to person for your whole organization. Godin stipulates that everyone faces a choice: An individual can choose to live day after day, year after year, languidly going through the motions, doing work that is devoid of excitement and imagination. Or, he or she can choose a path that promotes uniqueness and ingenuity by becoming a "linchpin," an invaluable, indispensable employee, the center of all a company's activities. Godin declares that if you believe in yourself and your potential for greatness, kindle the creative spark within, embrace risk and seek the good in others, you can become an influential linchpin. Although Godin writes in his signature rambling style, which some readers may find distracting, getAbstract applauds this unique, absorbing business book, whose reach extends far beyond the conference room. The author has done his part; your path is up to you. Proceed with caution - even being a linchpin has its hazards. To learn more about this book, check out the following web page:
writemoves on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Godin is one of the best business and creative minds around. His blog is a must read. Linchpin offers great guidance on how to manage your career and market yourself.
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The world of learning and work has changed, but for the most part we continue to use old solutions to address new challenges. This is the setup for Seth Godin's "Linchpin" which is his plea for us to not be cogs in the machinery anymore.A linchpin (a worker, learner AND artist) is one who is indispensable within her life network. This could be where you work, where you volunteer, where you go to school or even at home. Those who continue to contribute solely by following the instructions of others are seeing their value decline unforgivably. The world has changed and those who can navigate without a road map are the future leaders.Moreover, as Godin explains, the linchpin will be an unconditional gift-giver. Giving to others above and beyond what you're paid to do will make your own contributions unique and allow for a human connection that business interactions often seriously lack.I recommend giving this book as a gift to someone in your life who craves more humanity in their world of work.
LBD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some interesting points about the social changes that are happening now, but not my favorite of Godin's books
librarythingaliba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book (as I do most by Mr. Godin). This one really struck a personal nerve with the discussions of efficiency and commoditization of employees and work, as one of the things I am involved in as a technologist is that very thing. It also gave name to the nameless fear that I confront (and I suspect we all do) in the face of change : "the resistance". Basically, the most important thing an employee or individual can contribute is "emotional labor", or involvement and personal stake in the products of their work. I get to continue to be a linchpin in all areas of my life by being my best, following my heart, and overcome my own personal resistance to change!
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scottreyes More than 1 year ago
Seth does incredible job of unpacking the way we look at work because of our education and our culture. What an incredible call to action to seek the hard and more rewarding road to great work!
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