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Amazon Exclusive: Hugh MacLeod Reviews Linchpin

Hugh MacLeod is an artist, cartoonist, and Web 2.0 pundit whose blog, gapingvoid.com, has two million unique monthly visitors. His first book, Ignore Everybody, was an Amazon Top Ten Business Book of the Year and aWall Street Journalbestseller. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review ofLinchpin:

This is by far Seth’s most passionate book. He’s pulling fewer punches. He’s out for blood. He’s out to make a difference. And that glorious, heartfelt passion is obvious on every page, even if it is in Seth’s usual quiet, lucid, understated manner.

A linchpin, as Seth describes it, is somebody in an organization who is indispensable, who cannot be replaced—her role is just far too unique and valuable. And then he goes on to say, well, seriously folks, you need to be one of these people, you really do. To not be one is economic and career suicide.

No surprises there—that’s exactly what one would expect Seth to say. But here’s where it gets interesting.

In his best-known book, Purple Cow, Seth’s message was, “Everyone’s a marketer now.” In All Marketers Are Liars, his message was, “Everyone’s a storyteller now.” In Tribes, his message was, “Everyone’s a leader now.”

And fromLinchpin?

"Everyone’s an artist now."

By Seth’s definition, an artist is not just some person who messes around with paint and brushes, an artist is somebody who does (and I LOVE this term) “emotional work.”

Work that you put your heart and soul into. Work that matters. Work that you gladly sacrifice all other alternatives for. As a working artist and cartoonist myself, I know exactly what he means. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

The only people who have a hope of becoming linchpins in any organization, who have any hope of changing anything for the better in real terms, are those who have the capacity to do “emotional work” at a high level—to be true artists at whatever they set their minds on doing. The guys who just plod around the office corridors, just turning up for their paycheck.... Well, those guys don’t have a prayer, poor things. The world is just too interesting and competitive now.

And Seth then challenges us, the readers, to become linchpins ourselves. To make the leap. To become artists. To do emotional work, whatever the sacrifice may be. It’s our choice, and it’s our burden. Seth won’t be there to catch us if we fall, but to become the people we need to be eventually, well, we probably wouldn’t want him to, anyway.

Congratulations, Seth. You have penned a real gem of a book here. Rock on.

--Hugh MacLeod
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Details

ISBN-10:  1591843162
ISBN-13:  978-1591843160
Author:  Seth Godin
Genre:  Business & Investing, Health, Mind & Body
Publisher:  Portfolio Hardcover
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review by . January 18, 2010
You are a genius. That start to Seth Godin's new book got my attention. If this guy knows how smart I am, then I definitely want to listen to him.      Godin proposes that we must become indispensable in our jobs. The days are gone when we could show up to the factory (or cubicle), follow the instructions and then be guaranteed a regular paycheck. The market has always favored the cheaper alternative and it is easier to find those alternatives. Journalists, car factory workers, …
review by . February 28, 2010
I've been reading Seth Godin's books since "Permission Marketing" debuted in 1999. His blog is on my Browser's home page. He's the first thing I read in the morning.    There are hundreds of good books that span across the career/self-help/business category. This book defies categorization in the standard sense. If I had to pick three must-read career books, they would have to be "Purple Cow," "The Dip," and "Linchpin." All amazingly written by Seth Godin.    Super …
review by . January 26, 2010
Others have their own reasons for praising this book. Here are five of mine. First, this is by far Godin's most personal book in which he reveals more of his emotions and "soul" (for lack of a better term) than he has in any of his previous books. Also, from the beginning, he establishes a direct and personal rapport with his reader. I felt that he had written this book specifically for me. Although he and I have never met, I felt as if he were speaking to me and discussing ideas with me as if we …
Quick Tip by . April 16, 2010
May be the most important book I have read in the past several years.
Quick Tip by . February 15, 2010
Good audio interview from Seth Godin in this Mashable story: http://mashable.com/2010/02/14/seth-godin-linchpin
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Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
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