Book Review: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?


Another vacation completed and another book read. I have had this locked and loaded on my Kindle for quite sometime, but just have not been able to get to it. Now I have and boy was I glad that I read this one. This book review is on Seth Godin’s, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

I definitely will come out and say it – I would flat out recommend this book to everyone! I have many reasons for that recommendation. I have read other books by Godin and this one is by far his most personal one. I thought he was sitting on the airplane, cruise ship and beach talking to me as I read. I spent many a moment during my reading of it, to stop and think about it more than any other book I have read.

Within those parts, I feel they are brilliant – they changed how I think about my core message. They made me think back over the past year, and help me put into perspective the actions I wanted to take and what I am doing with my next chapter in my journey. I was able to have some real discussion with some of the folks on vacation around what a Linchpin is, what that looks like to me and them. Helped to really reinforce my decision to retire from Intel now, rather than later.

Here is Godin’s bottom line from the book:

“I didn’t set out to get you to quit your job or to persuade you to become an entrepreneur or merely to change the entire world. All I wanted to do in this book was sell you on being the artist you already are. To make a difference. To stand for something. To get the respect and security you deserve. If I’ve succeeded, then you know that you have a gift to give, something you can do to change the world (or your part of it) for the better. I hope you’ll do that, because we need you. (p. 230).”

  • I already decided to retire. I had been really thinking about leaving for quite sometime. Fear of the economy, fear of job availability and overall fear – kept me from acting. That lizard brain doing all the thinking for me. Well, if I would have read this book when I first downloaded it, I would have been acting differently. Would I have not retired? No! That is the decision that needed to be made.

 A linchpin is someone that is remarkable. They bring the emotional labor to their work. They pour themselves into what they do because they know it is the right thing to do, and they become better people for living and working this way. This also makes them very scarce, and that scarcity makes them valuable – indispensable. He also adds, “You don’t become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to become indispensable is to be different. That’s because if you’re the same, so are plenty of other people.

  • I have tried to be an artist or a linchpin! As a manager to all of the teams that I have been part of. I have been rewarded throughout my career for doing many of those actions that were mentioned in the book. I want more of that! I am hungry for more… I have enjoyed teaching the “New to Management” series – which has allowed me to give back to the overall Intel Community (at least the “newbie” managers).

There is so much more to this book that I could go on with – but that would not be right. This book has given me a better understanding of myself (and some of the whys I do what I do); what I want to do and what makes me happy. I have an outline for my map…

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  • Awesome stuff. Sound like you’re really taking action based on the book. I’m impressed and grateful that you’ve internalized and then acted on what you learned. We could all use more of that.

  • @Andy – thanks! I would recommend this book to anyone. It definitely gave me a wake up and reminded me of my past success. Something that I want more of!

  • Good review. This has so far been my favorite read of 2010.

  • @ David – I have to agree with you. I really enjoyed it!