Linchpin, Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
Seth Godin is, depending on who you ask, either a marketing genius or an over-hyped stater of the obvious. By my reading, he seems to be a combination of both. His new book, Linchpin, bears the tagline “Are you indispensible?” and spends the next 236 pages convincing you that you should be indispensible. Well, duh.
The tricky thing about Seth Godin is that he’s phenomenally good at writing books about things we already know but aren’t actually putting in to practice. And, because we’re not putting them into practice, we warrant books to remind us how. The crux of Linchpin is that you have to be an artist at your job, seek to find new ways to express yourself and your business, give your gifts of ingenuity away, braving new worlds and doing it all without fear. All of these will yield you the most career rewards and best job security you’re likely to get. Certainly, none of this is new news. However, the vast majority of workers in any field and in any country aren’t actually doing this. (How often do you actually do these things?) And no one can fault Godin for giving good advice, even if it’s advice we probably already should know. It’s your choice whether or not to buy the book — if you need to hear this advice in a new tone, in a new, way with new examples — so why fault the author for writing it? Frankly, the fact that he gives us unoriginal information and advice and continues to sell his books to us might make him a marketing genius in and of itself. He’s a genius at marketing himself.
Of the few pages I did mark, one was a manifesto about the idea of “doneness”, that is, the concept and value of finishing what you start. It was written by Bre Pettis and posted on his blog, which, presumably was free to read. Perhaps Mr. Pettis needs his own personal brand and book — I’m sure Godin could give him some tips.