Book Review: Linchpin: Are you Indispensable by Seth Godin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Seth Godin began the book looking at the difference between capitalism and socialism. Capitalism is the idea that employees work as servants, or cogs as he put it, working in factories without the ability to express themselves through their work. These servants do not question the rules, stand out, and always do as they are told. Socialism in Godin’s eyes is the idea that these servants can rise up, become indispensable leaders through their art. These leaders say what is needed not what others always want to hear. Godin argues that the highest expression of ourselves is through art. This art is what makes us geniuses not mere knowledge.

Seth has written several micro blogs which put together has formed this book. There are several repeated ideas. One such example, Godin argues that an indispensable artist is more important than a company trying to maximize profits. He explains this by showing that companies have a distrust complex in which they don’t hire employees for what they are actually worth so that they can maximize these profits. Another example is his description of the lizard brain and our inherit resistance towards the work we were created for.

Personally, I appreciate Godin’s encouragement when he says the struggle is good, don’t let good be the enemy of perfect, be vulnerable and ship, failure is our spirit guide, and continue to push yourself to reach your goals. So often I am scatter brained working on several projects simultaneously and at times I need to put away my phone and not become distracted. I am embracing the idea that it doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.

My final verdict: many ideas could have been condensed but there are a lot of ideas that are helpful to remember. We do not live to work, but we work to live. We live when we discover beauty through art but also find ourselves when art is an expression of our true self. Keep struggling as that is how we find ourselves, build our character, and find joy in our work.

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