My first reaction to Seth Godin’s new book – LINCHPIN: Are You Indispensable – was yadda yadda more of the same. His riffs have a singular DNA. We recognize them from his daily blog posts to and from his previous ten or so books. Nothing wrong with that. Seth is almost always provocative. He writes about everyday things (customer service, lemonade stands, mediocrity) and draws lessons that make us sit up and say, “Yeah, that’s a better way to think about that.”

I want more from his books. I’m looking for a BIG IDEA that is systematically unpacked so that I can follow along and know where I’m going. Seth would probably say that’s boring and unimaginative of me but hey I’m the one reading the book. I’m on page 73 of LINCHPIN and I’m frustrated by the lack of structure (you could also call it “organization”).

BUT and the but is key here I’m starting to feel prickles of excitement. He’s riffing along in little sections and I’m starting to accumulate a number of insights.

A sampling:

– The nut of the book (page 9): a Purple Cow is a remarkable product worth talking about. A Linchpin is an indispensable employee worth finding and keeping (and no doubt talking about).

– Chris Anderson’s Long Tail applies to people as well as products (“there’s room for everyone who wants to make a difference”).

– There’s a difference between being fearless and reckless in your job (guess which one is the better attribute).

– What separates a Linchpin from an ordinary employee is that she doesn’t seem to feel THE FEAR (i.e. she hides it just long a longdistance runner hides the tiredness).

– Google’s Marissa Mayer is the perfect example of a Linchpin (she intuitively knew that Google’s home page had to be spare and she fights to keep it that way).

– David, who works at the midtown Dean & Deluca, has a never ending supply of “emotional labor” to offer. It’s not part of his job description yet he helps people without asking, cleans off tables, tidies, points out the upstairs restroom He’s a Linchpin. (I recently met a doorman like this at a small hotel I was staying at. He made me feel special everytime I went in or out).

– Draw your own map (love this phrase).

– A Linchpin always finds a way to say “Yes, it can be done.”

And more, many more.

Aha. So maybe Seth does have a method. He’s building his argument drip by drip (like an artist with a paint brush) and I need to be more patient. Not one of my notable attributes.

He’s got me hooked. Back to the book. And looking forward to tomorrow’s live launch for LINCHPIN in NYC with Seth.

P.S. It has occurred to me more than once that LINCHPIN needs to be read alongside Daniel Pink’s just released DRIVE. I’ve read through Drive and Dan touches on many of the same themes.

  Posted via email  from Debbie Weil