Normally Seth Godin writes short easy to digest books. This one, however, could have been a lot shorter than it was.
Linchpin is Seth Godin’s definition of being irreplaceable in the workforce. Gone are the days of factory workers where you showed up and traded time for money.
You can no longer be safe with just being a cog in the machine. You are easily replaceable if you do so.
The Old Dream – Follow instructions, show up on time, work hard, suck it up and you’ll be rewarded.
The New Dream – Be Remarkable, Be generous, Create Art, Connect with people and generate new ideas.
So How do you become a Linchpin?
You create Art.
Art is something that changes someone for the better.
Don’t create Art for making money create art for the love of giving gifts.
Becoming a Linchpin
When you’re told what to do, display no creativity and take no initiative you’re just a cog in the machine or an average worker. You’re one of many.
In order to be a linchpin, you have to be unique, remarkable, and stand out from the crowd.
Ever seen a scenario where a restaurant closes down because its top chef leaves or an agency loses its clients because the top marketer/salesperson leaves.
These people are called linchpins. Businesses fear losing them. Give your work everything you have and over-deliver.
The race to make average products for average people in vast quantities is almost over.
Being a part of a system is not art. Have an impact, don’t just comply.
We need linchpins in the workforce now more than ever. Don’t just follow the rules and repeat like everyone else, make a change. We need you to stand up.
Art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Artists are in a league of their own.
To be an artist, you have to break the rules. Not the law, but the rules. You must never settle and have self-limiting beliefs.
People who reject the system are most likely to succeed. This trait is shown a few years after schooling.
Woodrow Wilson on education said we’re teaching the wrong stuff. Things that should be taught at school should be to solve interesting problems and to lead.
When you’re part of a system, you comply and lose your uniqueness.
You can make a tiny difference by the act of being kind and generous. You can change someone’s day for the better.
Emotional Labor is the task of doing important work even when it isn’t easy. Do the emotional work voluntarily and it makes you hard to replace.
The act of being generous makes you rich beyond measure. Be brave enough to create Art and generous enough to give it away.
Ed Sutt, a son of a contractor, helped his dad build houses while growing up. He eventually quit when his hand was so swollen from hammering nails.
On his visit to the Caribbean, he saw thousands of houses destroyed by the effects of Hurricane Marilyn.
While moving through the wreckage of houses, he was struck by the amount of destruction that could have been avoided.
He knew it wasn’t the wood that failed, but the nails that held the wood together. He spent the next 11 years of his life to create a nail that could change the fate of millions of people.
The discovery came to be known as the Hurriquake. The passion wasn’t in making the money—it was in making a difference.
Ship the work
Shipping is a rare skill that makes you indispensable. Just get it out. Sure it could have been more polished and refined but remember done is better than perfect.
Saturday Night goes live each week on Saturday night, ready or not. That’s what makes it work.
Here’s the checklist to become indispensable:
- Make Art
- Give Gifts
- Do work that matters
- Make a difference
- Congratulations! You are now a Linchpin.
We don’t have a talent shortage. We have a shipping shortage.