Linchpin – Why everyone should read?

“A genius looks at something that others are stuck on and gets the word unstuck.” Seth Godin in Linchpin.

Reading books is a major key to success. This was the title of a blog post I recently read.

I would twist a bit: Reading GOOD books can change the life forever. The mega-rich and successful like Bill Gates and Elon Musk devote extraordinary amounts of their time to reading. Today I am going to write about one of the best books I have read in the recent past.

Before the book, it is pertinent to write about the author Seth Godin.  Many readers might know him. He is one of the most read bloggers in the world. He is an author and an entrepreneur, studied at Stanford and Tufts University. He has written 17 books till date.  He is also one of the most sought after speakers. His Ted talks How to get your ideas spread is seen by more than 5 million viewers.

His top selling books are; Dip, Purple Cow, Tribes, All Marketers are Liars and Linchpin to name a few. Today I am writing about the book titled Linchpin. The log line of the book is,” Are you indispensable?”

He starts the book with the following lines:

“We are surrounded by Bureaucrats, Note Takers, Literalists, Manual Readers, TGIF Labours, Map Followers and Fearful Employees. “

In the book he is talking about making us none of the above.  He writes,” the compliant masses don’t help so much when you don’t know what to do next.“

The linchpin is someone who is difficult to replace, so risky to lose, and so valuable that they might as well be irreplaceable.

I usually read the book with a highlighter to mark important quotes/lines and a para. My copy of the book Linchpin is full of highlights on every page, mostly more than one highlight.

The following quotes from the book are enough encouragement for the readers to get a flavour of what to expect from the book. This is one of the life changing books.

“The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.

Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.

The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it’s a job.

Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.

I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin.

The job is not the work.”

“Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.

Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does.

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”

“The lizard brain is hungry, scared, angry, and horny.

The lizard brain only wants to eat and be safe.

The lizard brain will fight (to the death) if it has to, but would rather run away. It likes a vendetta and has no trouble getting angry.

The lizard brain cares what everyone else thinks because status in the tribe is essential to its survival.

A squirrel runs around looking for nuts, hiding from foxes, listening for predators, and watching for other squirrels. The squirrel does this because that’s all it can do. All the squirrel has is a lizard brain.

The lizard brain is the reason you’re afraid, the reason you don’t do all the art you can, the reason you don’t ship when you can. The lizard brain is the source of the resistance.”

“Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.”

“Discomfort brings engagement and change. Discomfort means you’re doing something that others were unlikely to do because they’re hiding out in the comfortable zone. When your uncomfortable actions lead to success, the organization rewards you and brings you back for more.”

“The tragedy is that society (your school, your boss, your government, your family) keeps drumming the genius part out. The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.”

“Not only must you be an artist, must you be generous, and must you be able to see where you can help but you must also be aware. Aware of where your skills are welcomed.”

“Art is never defect-free. Things that are remarkable never meet spec, because that would make them standardized, not worth talking about.”

“The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.”

“…the greatest shortage in our society is an instinct to produce. To create solutions and hustle them out the door. To touch the humanity inside and connect to the humans in the marketplace.”

“If you can’t be remarkable, perhaps you should consider doing nothing until you can.”

Recently I found one quote very inspiring in one of Seth Godin’s blog posts. I approached Seth to use the quote on the cover page of my e-book. He readily agreed. The quote was;

“Change making happens when people fall in love with a different version of the future.” Seth Godin. This quote is there on the cover page of my ebook The Fifth Idiot, which is a fiction book about change the way enterprises treat their employees.

To become future ready, this book is a must read for everyone and more so for the college students, young entrepreneurs and young employees.

Share this post on all your social platforms, remember, reading books is a major key to success.

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