Linchpin is Fantastic :-)

I found the one star reviews of Seth Godin’s Linchpin very helpful in discussing why I really liked this book. It’s repetitive, it is not linear, it is simple, it is more fun than serious, it is written in choppy blog style, it is often boring, it’s little long, it’s written like a manifesto, it is mostly common sense, and the book spends a lot of time discussing why I resist acting on these common sense points.

I really like that Seth says that being an “Indispensable” person is a choice. There are “attributes/skills” of the “Indispensable” and one needs to practice hard to develop these skills.

“The Resistance” Chapter is the best. It describes why very few people actually become “Indispensable”. Why one’s worst enemy in becoming “Indispensable” is oneself.

Seth revisits his Superpower riff in this book to good effect. Here is an excerpt from page 223

When I tell the superpower story to people, they seem to get it. But when I ask them their superpower, and they pick something that might be a power but it isn’t really super. It’s sort of an average power. …

This concept gets to the heart of the chasm we are facing. You want your pretty safe skill to be enough. Enough to make you valued, enough to make you fairly paid, enough to make your life stable. But it’s not. It not enough because in a very connected, very competitive marketplace, there are plenty of people with your safe skill. The “super” part and the “power” part come not from something you’re born with but from something you choose to do and, more important, from something you choose to give.

Bottom line … If we can’t communicate our super power, then we don’t have one, and we are dispensable 😦

The bibliography provides an indication of the breadth of this book. Why it is so long and thin at the same time. There are artists, sociologists, educators, software programmers, scientists, buddhist nuns, and efficiency experts. It is a very wide range. Here are just a few. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield; The Lonely Crowd, by David Reisman; Weapons of Mass Instruction, by John Taylor Gatto; The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.; Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History, by Stephen Jay Gould; Don’t Bit the Hook: Finding Freedom from Anger, Resentment, and Other Destructive Emotions, by Pema Chodron; Getting Things Done, by Dave Allen.


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