Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Linchpin

Seth Godin is a leader, blogger, entrepreneur and thinker. I enjoyed reading Tribes last year and his latest book Linchpin is about leadership and creativity.

"What we want, what we need, what we must have are indispensable human beings . We need original thinkers, provocateurs and people who care.....Every organisation needs a linchpin, the one person who can bring it together and make a difference. Some organisations haven't realised this yet, or haven't articulated it but we need artists" [Page 8]

Godin keeps himself a step-ahead. It's his personal brand identity and is the reason why millions read his blog each day. In this book, he tells us that the world has changed. A complete paradigm shift has occured of how we work, how we earn our livings and how we lead our lives. The problem is that most of us haven't noticed and it's certainly not in the interests of our employers that we do.

Godin has a lot of views on teaching.

"What they should teach in school

Only two things

1. Solve interesting problems
2. Lead" [page 47]

He goes on to say that "Leading is a skill, not a gift (Romans 12 might put a different slant on this statement but I'll let it slide) You're not born with it, you learn how. And schools can teach leadership as easily as they figured out how to teach compliance"

This is a good and thought-provoking read. The writing style does have the feel that Godin has pasted together a load of blog posts (maybe he has?) and this does at times make his argument a little disjointed but it left me with lots of 'that's an interesting thought' moments.

I preached on Joshua 6 on Sunday and asked how differently you would lead life if you already knew victory was yours. Godin argues the same about life in the workplace. Right from an early age we start having our homework marked and wait around for the exam results to be pinned on the headmasters door. We are disempowered early and if we are not careful most people choose a whole life of waiting for a C+ rather than choosing an A.

"My heroes Roz and Ben Zander wrote an incredible book called The Art of Possibility. One of the most powerful essays in the book describe how Ben changes the lives of his hyperstressed music students by challenging each of them to 'give yourself an A"[Page 59].

I think Godin believes most if us should be doing something different. The system wants us to be drones and most people seems to be happy with it. My friend when we discussing this book admitted as much. But we needn't settle for it and Godin would be really pleased if having read his book we decided not to be. I've been a drone and I heartily commend a non-drone life choice.

"Loving what you do is almost as important as doing what you love, especially if you need to make a living at it. Go find a job you can commit to, a career or a business you can fall in love with"[Page 228]

This book is worth buying just for the bibliography but I am happy to tell you it worth reading for many more reasons that that.

Read it and become a linchpin.

No comments: