Are You a Linchpin?

Do you remember what a Linchpin is?

It’s a piece of hardware that keeps the wheels on.  Not on today’s cars, but on wagons many years ago.  Today, they keep all kinds of things together.  The linchpin has the highest usefulness to weight ratio of any other part.  Without one, your whole system falls apart.  It’s indispensable.

And that’s exactly what Seth Godin says you can be.

Quoted as being his “most important work ever” Seth’s latest book, Linchpin, cuts straight to the core of where making change happens: inside each individual’s brain and their ability to choose.

“This time it’s personal” he says.  Not personal for him (although it is very much so) but personal for you.  He wants you to make a personal choice.  He wants you to choose to make a difference.

When we understand that a simple decision is all that is necessary to get started, it doesn’t seem too far out of reach.  And when we believe the fact that we all have a little genius in us, capable of looking at something that others are stuck on and getting them unstuck, then we can begin to create our art – the thing that only we can do, that changes other people for the better.

I experienced linchpin-like change when I ignored my lizard brain that tries to keep me safe and in the status quo, and traveled to New York for Seth’s launch presentation of this book and to meet members of his online community that he created for his previous book, Tribes. It was a remarkable experience that needs a separate post.

Right now, I just want to say that this work of art from Seth is so packed with powerful concepts that it’s going to take a few readings and underlining to help me really understand and apply it effectively.  From my first read-through I know that I need to develop the skills of becoming indispensable to those around me. 

For me, more studying is necessary because he doesn’t provide a map, he doesn’t tell you how to do it.  He only explains the skills, abilities, and characteristics of a linchpin, and why they are so critical in today’s environment.   Without the map, the easy ‘how to’ answers, Seth makes attaining linchpin status more meaningful.  It takes real work to develop those abilities (for those who don’t already have them), but Seth makes a great case for why it is worth it.

I hope I’ve made the case for why you should read the book.

You may not have the same anticipation or excitement as I did in this video, but it makes the book so much better if you do.