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4.3 out of 5 stars56
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 24 June 2013
Another good book from Seth Godin. I always find that as soon as I finish reading one of his book I feel inspired enough to go out and implement the ideas. I must say the ideas and concepts always work well for me.

What do you have to lose apart from the price of a couple of coffees and a few hours, who knows the idea may inspire you to go do something that bit different.
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on 28 December 2015
The title to this review seems a little over the top, and much of Seth Godin's book is written with a self-helpy lilt, but this book captures and describes the shifting zeitgeist as it turns against the corporate culture that has reigned in Western workforces for several centuries. Importantly, Godin lives the work he describes generously in his book. A book everyone working in a company, or trying to service clients should read as soon as they can.
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on 26 March 2010
I enjoyed the book, thank you Seth, and here is my review:
The book's basic ideas are:
* Be creative and you will become indispensible in your job. By being creative he means go above and beyond what is required and put some emotional effort into your job; become an artist.
* You will have to fight "the resistance" i.e. the part of your brain that tells you not to do this, and is related to your internal "fight or flight" part of your brain (the lizard brain). This is probably the best part of the book.
* As part of becoming an artist you will need to give away your work - eventually this will be its own reward.

That's about it... then Seth spends most of the book with anecdote after anecdote. Most of these are not needed and feel like blog posts (in fact many of them appear in similar form on his blog). This leads to the book feeling somewhat disjointed.

If you are the kind of person who is looking for a well argued point backed up with facts then this isn't the book for you; there is a lot of conjecture in here.

If you are the kind of person who thinks the ideas above sound like a good idea - then the book is very self affirming and confirms your world view; which is nice.

For its many faults, the section on the resistance was great and made the book worth reading.
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"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work." -- John 9:4 (NKJV)

Seth Godin painstakingly explains in Linchpin how the world of work has shifted so that "just doing your job" is a recipe for being dead while you still live . . . and having lots of job insecurity. His solution is for you to care about the results of your work, to reach out to others with your genuine emotions, and to innovate in ways that create something others appreciate . . . whether or not it has immediate economic value. Basically, he's suggesting you become a human being rather than a cog in a bureaucracy or complex process. He calls this being an artist.

I found this aspect of the book to be its main strength: A lot of people don't realize that they need to be innovating in ways that delight other people . . . rather than just pretending they are still in high school and trying to get along by fitting in.

I dislike mechanical metaphors as a way to encourage people to be less machine-like. Linchpin as a metaphor didn't work that well for me. His point is that since everyone else is just going through the motions of following orders, your humanity in seeking to make things better will make you indispensable. It's nice to think that's true, but the book doesn't contain any evidence beyond some anecdotes . . . many of which are about people I've never heard of or read about.

The writing style suggests that a lot of the book is mostly a cut-and-paste job from blogs. If that's the kind of choppy writing that appeals to you, you'll like this book better than I did. I thought it could have used a good editor. Why? You have to read a long time before he gets around to defining a lot of his concepts. In the meantime, you are wondering what he's trying to tell you.

A solution for this lack of orderly development of his ideas is to start with the drawing on page 230 and go on to read the summary that follows. Then, go back and read the book from front to back. It will make a lot more sense that way.

Despite the book's weaknesses, if you haven't decided to make the world a better place by being a caring innovator, you need this book. Get a copy and read it . . . and keep reading it until the point sinks in. I think it eventually will.
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on 5 March 2010
This book doesn't read well and feels as thought because it's a straight transcript of Seth Godin's blog. Whilst this is an easy way to generate book content, it doesn't add to the quality or flow.

Too many of the statements are repetitive truisms that you could find in dozens of other books on this site. Read his blog instead occasionally, and save yourself the cost of buying this book.
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on 3 February 2010
Seth in fine form; the departure being that this is more about you than about your business. There are a couple of messages early on that set off my American-self-help-guru alarm however the proposition is sound.

For me this book is not about how to make yourself essential enough not to be fired but more about how we spend a LOT of time at work and that changing your attitude and giving time, knowledge and emotion (art) has a positive effect. For everyone.

More great sound bites in this book that you can count; currently the one imprinted on my brain is `Doesn't matter if you're always right. It matters that you're always moving'. You will learn about `ART', the `Lizard Brain', `The powerful culture of Gifts' and much more; Seth is issuing you a wake-up call and a challenge to change.

As with most things Seth-shaped I loved it and am thinking differently after reading it (and have now bought copies for the entire team). Recommended.
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on 8 February 2010
If you like Seth Godin's other books, you will like this one. The main riff throughout the book is about the new world of work - one based on intellect and ideas rather than an ability to move stuff from one place to another. While not necessarily a new idea (see Dan Pink's "A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future"), it is well presented and compelling. Seth develops his argument for how to succeed in this new world and how to make yourself indispensible. Actually, I think "indispensible" might be a little overstated, I think it would be more correct to say "achieving your full potential to a point where you if you are dispensed with, then someone else will always want you!". Either way, a great message.

It does read a little like a self help book in places. I am not entirely convinced that this was unintentional or necessarily a bad thing. It depends on what you were looking for.

On the downside, some readers might find his "in your face" style a bit evangelical in places, particularly some of us Brits. Undoubtedly, this style has been developed through his blog writing where space is limited to get the point over. However, when the same style is used throughout a book, it can be a bit over powering at times. That said, I read the book cover to cover. Every 2-3 pages I would find a nugget of an idea that would make me carrying on reading. Before long, the book was finished.

Like his other books, I enjoyed reading this one. It helped me understand a little more about the complex world I seem to live in and gave me some further insights into how to get more out of work and life. Recommended.
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on 25 August 2015
This book is a game changer. Everyone should read it as it lucidly explains how to adapt and flourish in the new world of work. It is one of the best books I have ever read and the people who take on board its principles will be the long term winners, trust me. Be an artist !
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on 2 August 2010
Warning: If you absorb all business blogger Seth Godin's advice, you could end up overworked and underappreciated. Godin's antidote to mediocrity and conformity is so effective and convincing that it may have the unintended consequence of making you the go-to person for your whole organization. Godin stipulates that everyone faces a choice: An individual can choose to live day after day, year after year, languidly going through the motions, doing work that is devoid of excitement and imagination. Or, he or she can choose a path that promotes uniqueness and ingenuity by becoming a "linchpin," an invaluable, indispensable employee, the center of all a company's activities. Godin declares that if you believe in yourself and your potential for greatness, kindle the creative spark within, embrace risk and seek the good in others, you can become an influential linchpin. Although Godin writes in his signature rambling style, which some readers may find distracting, getAbstract applauds this unique, absorbing business book, whose reach extends far beyond the conference room. The author has done his part; your path is up to you. Proceed with caution - even being a linchpin has its hazards.
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on 21 June 2012
First of all, I would like to say that I really like Seth Godin and his work. He is undoubtedly a great ideas man (I use this term instead of 'thinker') and he knows how to 'join the dots'. From reading hi blog, it is clear that he is also prolific in his idea generation and is able to come up with great ideas day in, day out-some of which are great and some less so, as you would expect. But, this may lead to the fundamental weakness of the book in that some of the points are great, some are quite weak and they are all joined up together. If I were to guess, I would say that Seth wanted to write the book on the 'lizard brain' but the publisher felt that this was insufficiently unique or commercial. The notion of creating great art and giving gifts are key tenets of this work- I'm not sure that these really work or would stand up to scrutiny; they are somewhat interesting ideas but don't merit anything like the attention they receive in this book. This book would make a great TED talk, but is not necessarily ideal as an entire book.
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