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on 28 December 2016
This isn't Seth Godin's latest book, but it maybe one of his most relevant if you want to keep your job!

It's no longer enough to be a loyal and hard-working employee; you're still replaceable. This book highlights who companies really need and how you can become indespensible. In addition to keeping your job, you'll find your work more challenging and enjoyable.

The book provides many successful examples of linchpins at (American) companies, such as Google, Zappa, Ideo, etc. What if you work at at ordinary (non-tech) British company, can you still become a linchpin?

I think so, if you have the right attitude AND your employer/manager isn't excessively bureaucratic. (Seth argues that it isn't employers with the problem, but our own resistance and fear of change.)

The book was published in 2010 when the greatest threat to employment was globalisation; I believe the bigger threat (including to professionals) is now A.I. and robotics.

4 stars as the book could probably get the message across in fewer pages and have more international examples.
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on 16 February 2017
There are literally no words to describe how amazing this book is! I don't really know what I was expecting but the majority of the words resonated with me. I was drawn to this book because I knew I was different, I juet had no idea how different. I love the way that the book explores how school institutionalises us - that was an added bonus I wasn't expecting. Once you grasp the concept of shipping and becoming indispensable there will be no stopping you. There is certainly no stopping me now. Time to step it up a gear!
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on 14 June 2013
If you want to up your game, but more importantly, find some of life's greatest truths that stare you right in the face, then this is the book to read. FULL of common sense, yet put so plainly that you don't need a degree to understand - Seth managed to reach out and inspire me.

It's elegantly written, solidly constructed, and as the title said, by reading through, it helped me to reframe my attitude, and now I am a Linchpin at work - and I am loving every moment.

This also helped me to realise I was a diamond-in-the-rough but natural networker, and helped me to tap into using the networking skills to bring about faster completions of projects, listen and ~learn~ more about things that were about to happen, and see the signs and take action to minimize any issues before they hit other people's radar! This is something that only improves in time - I've even been asked once if I can see the future. (And no, I cannot!)

This book is amazing. What else can I say, except if you don't buy it, add it to your wishlist, and buy it when you can.
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VINE VOICEon 16 July 2010
I love the convenience of audio books, but on this occasion I would say buy the print copy and read it instead. The reason for this is that the audio version of "Linchpin: Are you indispensible" is read without any great emphasis, except right at the beginning when told you are a genius. So, for the length of two CDs, you listen to material that is actually quite incisive, but the audio just washes over you, with the result that at the end you cannot remember the things that you meant to action as a result of things said earlier on. Read it in printed form and you will turn corners or make notes. I've listened to the CDs three times (I had them on a loop in the car) over a period of a couple of weeks and still couldn't write down a complete action list resulting from the material. The audio version is also abridged, so the printed form will contain extra material - I do not know the details.

In terms of the content, I found myself agreeing with most of it, particularly talk of resistance. It can be summarised as "you can either try to be the best you can be or you can just fit in". That's it really. What the author does not go into is the problem of how few companies can cope with people who push to be really good, who do creative stuff and work slightly outside the box. Many companies (or middle or junior managers at least) want people who do what they are told, nothing more, nothing less, and who just keep their heads down. That might not be what the executives want, but lower levels of management often do. So, if you are one of those people who push to do things better, to create more, to deliver more, to improve quality and performance, then you may just have to start your own company or try working for a number of companies before you find one where your efforts are appreciated. Sad, but true - in the UK at least.

I do also have a couple of issues with the idea of making yourself indispensible. From the employer's point of view, anybody indispensible represents key-person risk. Allowing anybody to become indispensible is a mistake on the employer's part. Employers may take different actions when they realise that somebody is becoming indispensible. The drastic one is to get rid of the person before it is too late, the less drastic is to ensure that skills and knowledge are shared so that the person does not become indispensible. From the employee's point of view, if the employee has loyalty to his/her employer or colleagues then the employee should recognise when this key-person risk is developing and try to ensure that action is taken to reduce it. As a contractor, I believe that one of my responsibilities is to ensure that when I move from one contract to another, my previous client is able to continue without too much impact. Whether that is by documenting in great detail the many things I do, by training other people to do those same things, or by a combination of methods, I believe making myself indispensible is wrong, despite understanding why from a job security angle some people would want to. However, making myself the best I can be is right.

So, I think the title could be changed - are you the best you can be, rather than are you indispensible. And I would say, read this book rather than listen to it. But otherwise, it is pretty good, if not great.
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on 16 August 2017
It's not trash, it's just an assortment of blog posts put together, repeated the message of how important you have to be at work. Crawling through it was unpleasant and it could have been summarised in one tenth of its current size. Don't mind the diagrams that make no sense and the references that are taken completely out of proportions. It tries to be a rebel leader but unfortunately for that, you first have to understand what you rebel against.
It's pretty good though if you're a blogger and like to talk colourful and emotional. So that's a +1.
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on 24 June 2013
Seth Godin lays out a powerful argument about how the world of work has changed. He also acknowledges that you can subscribe to the old model of working if you see a job as merely being 'just a job' - simple form of 'exchange'.

Seth asks you to become an artist as he puts it. This is not art in the sense of creating pieces of art but rather about how you deliver something of yourself to any situation and particularly within the sphere of your job or career.

Even in the most mundane of jobs Seth asks that we fully embrace what we do and through this we become that essential person who somehow makes the system work smoothly.

Like many similar books of this type it is certainly one that makes you think and reconsider your outlook upon life and in particular what you do as either a job, career, or in any voluntary work. Whether or not you can transform your self into a Linchpin or not, then the book certainly traces the history or various employer/worker relationships and this aspect of the book alone can be very enlightening.
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on 8 June 2010
I have to say for the most part this is an inspiring read and has affected my approach to work, and it's influence can be seen on my blog postings. I can't help but see how anyone can be similarly affected. I found a great deal of the book affirmed my personal beliefs and I even found one small paragraph that read like it was taken straight from my blog!

The writing can become repative at times as there is a tendancy for the same point to be made time & time again, repeated until you're mind won't let it go. It winds around & around, re-stating the same fact, again & again. Languishing on the same point, a bit like this. It does mean it sticks in your memory though. :)

Having said this, whilst the majority of the book is "on the money" I fundamentally disagree with Seth's point on education and how wrong the current system is for our future leaders. Maybe this is specific to the USA and I can see Seth's point but picking up on his other points, education is something that's a gift we give to our children in the hope that they lead successful and fulfilling lives. There are areas of the world that do not have the education we take for granted in the west and they struggle to make ends meet, hoping they can one day afford books and escape their lives. I think Seth's point dismisses this benefit and almost claims we should just let our children be feral. I appreciate this is challenging and thought provoking and my comments most likely justify Seth's writing.

After reading Seth's other books over the years, I have learned and put into practice a great deal of the points raised and adapted them to suit my work making computer games and I feel the people I work with have also indirectly benefitted. I look forward to the next book and until then I'll continue to read Seth's blog to fill the gap.

Read this, and The Dip and Tribes and you'll be spouting Godinisms!
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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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on 21 March 2018
Very informative book. A few bits were a little repetitive, but very insightful. Some valuable points learned
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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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