Biz Book Club “Linchpin”

June 23rd, 2011 3:58 pm

Ok, if you have not heard of Seth Godin, you a) just woke up from a long nap, b) have not been to my blog before, as I write about him all the time, c) all of the above. Seth Godin has written a number of books on the subject of marketing, brand building, sales strategies, the cultural and societal influence on supply and demand and the state of economy,  and most recently, he published “Linchpin”, where he discussed the significant role the creatives class has on our future.

Poet Bruce Ario once said “Creativity is an instinct to produce”. He meant production of art, the creative, risky, never done before, scaring you to death type task, not the factory, mile-long assembly line, where the most creative part present is the colored packaging that is expertly produced and applied on a product by no other than robots. The book discusses the dispensability of those, who fear being different, stepping outside the box, creating their own destiny, searching for a challenge, and proves that only “linchpin” kind will be able to survive in globalized, profit driven world.

“When it’s time for layoffs, the safest job belongs to the artist, the linchpin, the one who can’t be easily outsourced or replaced.”

Godin talks a lot about creating art and giving gifts.

“Artists shake things up. They invent as they go; they respond to inputs and create surprising new outputs.”

The work that you do, the quality experiences you produce for yourself and your clients, the memories that generate repeat business, the loyalty and true friendship you initiate, is what makes you indispensable. Whether you are a great a instruction follower, can fulfill orders and punch in and out on time, doesn’t seem to offer much value or employment stability any longer. Those employers, who understand who true leaders are, how to cultivate that leadership (not squander it under the enormous amount of policies, rules and expectations) and promote creativity, responsibility and growth in a workplace, will see great things happen in the future. Those, who prefer to lead their teams down the rules and regulations path, may have to tighten their belts, because the ride is about to get rougher. With the trend to globalize everything and everyone, if profit and quantity is your only business motive,  you may need to reconsider.

“Our economy has reached a logical conclusion. The race to make average stuff for average people in huge quantities is almost over. We’re hitting an asymptote, a natural ceiling for how cheaply and how fast we can deliver uninspired work.”

But the book is not all doom-day. It actually is a great motivating read. Godin tried to convince you and me, that it’s not a matter of genius, but a matter of will. If you knew that the life as you know it was about to change (and now you know), would you take action, or hide? Are you a linchpin?

“It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. Stop settling for what’s good enough and start creating art that matters. Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving gifts that change people. Then, and only then, will you have achieved your potential.”


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