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Feb 17 2010

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?


Quotes from Seth Godin's book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

"There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do."

"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."

"If all you can do is the task and you're not in a league of your own at doing the task, you're not indispensable."

"Maybe you can't make money doing what you love (at least what you love right now) But I bet you can figure out what you can do to make money (if you choose wisely)."

"Nothing about becoming indispensable is easy. If it's easy, it's already been done and it's no longer valuable."

"If you want customers to flock to you, it's tempting to race to the bottom of the price chart. There's not a lot of room for profit there, though…In a world that relentlessly races to the bottom, you lose if you also race to the bottom. The only way to win is to race to the top. When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, and more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable….

"Second, the people that work for you, the ones you freed to be artists [i.e. creators of unique, compelling, and substantial value], will rise to a level you can't even imagine. When people realize that they are not a cog in a machine, an easily replaceable commodity, they take the challenge and grow. They produce more than you pay them to, because you are paying them with something worth more than money….

"As a result of these priceless gifts, expect that the linchpins on your staff won't abuse their power. In fact, they'll work harder, stay longer, and produce more than you pay them to. Because everyone is a person, and people crave connection and respect."

"If you don't have a résumé, what do you have? How about three extraordinary letters of recommendation from people the employer knows or respects? Or a sophisticated project an employer can see or touch? Or a reputation that precedes you? Or a blog that is so compelling and insightful that they have no choice but to follow up? Some say, `Well, that's fine, but I don't have those.' Yeah, that's my point. If you don't have these things, what leads you to believe that you are remarkable, amazing, or just plain spectacular? It sounds to me like if you don't have more than a résumé, you've been brainwashed into compliance. Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people kill for – those jobs don't get filled by people e-mailing in résumés."

"Virtually all of us make our living engaging directly with other people. When the interactions are genuine and transparent, they usually work. When they are artificial or manipulative, they fail.

"The linchin is coming from a posture of generosity; she's there to give a gift [no-strings support of your efforts to succeed]. If that's your intent, the words almost don't matter. What we'll perceive are your wishes, not the script.

"This is why telemarketing has such a ridiculously low conversion rate. Why corporate blogs are so lame. Why frontline workers in the service business have such stress. We can sense it when you read the script because we're so good at finding the honest signals."




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