My look at Seth Godin’s newest book: Linchpin

I just finished my pre-release copy of Seth Godin’s newest book, “Linchpin”, which is my newest “must-read” recommendation. Here’s why.

LinchpinFirst, I have to admit that I was sold on this book before I even got it for one simple reason, notice above: “my pre-release copy.” Seth offered to give this book to 3000 people who would read it and tell the world about it. Of course, since I’ve been enjoying Seth’s blog and books for over a year now and love telling everyone about the things I’m reading (my poor wife knows this best), I immediately wanted in. But once I started reading I realized that the book would live up to my excitement.

“The indispensable employee brings humanity and connection and art to her organization.”

In “Linchpin,” Seth talks about the values essential for succeeding in this new economy. The post-industrial world no longer rewards the obedient, average, play-it-safe, cog-in-a-machine workers, but rewards those who bring creativity, generosity and humanity to their work. These are the extras, the things you don’t get paid for but make you valuable in an organization or a tribe. Interestingly enough, these extras are based largely on an individual choice, rather than external factors. They are also what brings you joy, enjoyment, and passion in your work.

“In the linchpin economy, the winners are once again the artists who give gifts.”

My favorite parts of this book were the discussions about art and giving. Seth defines “art” as “a personal gift that changes the recipient.” Though we may not be able to paint or draw, we all have the opportunity to be artists by giving gifts to people every day. We must do this, for the sake of our own souls and the sake of the world.

Seth pointed out that though our culture’s economical mindset has said that the one with the most stuff wins, this is a fairly recent development. “Power used to be about giving, not getting.” In the past, and now again, the only loser is the one who hoards stuff. When we give gifts, we create abundance and also generate income.

“Every successful organization is built around people. Humans who do art. People who interact with other people. Men and women who don’t merely shuffle money, but interact, give gifts, and connect.”

As I read, I realized that in working for a volunteer non-profit organization, I’m surrounded by many linchpins. People who are artists, who give gifts every day. Gifts of emotional labor, of caring about people and our mission, of exceeding expectations.

Read this book (which will be released Jan. 26), and join me in bringing your art and humanity to the table. We need you!

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