Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book Review: Linchpin

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading a Seth Godin book is like hanging out with a reliable friend.  He stands in my corner, cheers me on, and boosts my confidence.  Along the way, he also provides some learning and perspective, helpful advice that helps me connect the dots for myself.  Since I want to be productively self-employed - since I want to be a linchpin - I soak up that advice like a sponge and enjoy myself along the way. 

One of the best bits comes in the form of a picture (on page 43) showing how those of us who seek to stand out and contribute have to combine talent with perseverance and charm. Looking at it I realized why I am so often frustrated in my endeavors: I have no charm.  Perseverance is a strong suit for me, and I certainly have followed my passion and developed talent in my field, but without charisma I struggle to convince others to follow my lead.  I will work on that.  Godin's chart is now on the wall above my desk.

I will spend more time outside my comfort zone. I will finish original projects, use my cerebral cortex to override my natural fears, and hit "send."  I will also stop apologizing for offering free consulting to people who ask me questions in my field. No more worries about "free milk and a cow."  I can't get paid for what I keep bottled up inside so from now on my ideas will flow more freely. Godin says people who have need of my services will still seek me out and offer contracts and I think he's right.   

Some will no doubt find that Linchpin would have made better reading as an article than as a full-length book.  Some of the points do seem to be a bit stretched out or redundant.  That's probably good for me as it gave me more time with the material, more opportunities for the key learning to infiltrate my skull.  Plus, it's fun.  Still, those who prefer a more condensed version can download my free two-page summary here.

I will recommend this one to anyone I encounter who expresses a sense of stuckness in their work or who appears stressed from spending too much time in other people's boxes.  Good beach reading.

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