What Does It Take To Be A Linchpin?
Insights From 'Linchpin' by Seth Godin
Steve Jobs at Apple. Jeff Bezos at Amazon. Ben Zander at the Boston Philharmonic.
It’s easy to think of examples of linchpins.
These are people with imagination, drive, and the capacity for hard work.
But don’t be misled by these examples.
Linchpins aren’t only those who head companies and organizations. Take the case of Jonny Ive, who was one of the designers at Apple before he was spotted by Steve Jobs and rose to head the industrial design team.
Ive’s unique vision is responsible for the iconic look of Apple’s products.
It is also important to note that the linchpins among us are not born with a magical talent.
They are people who have decided that a new kind of work is important and trained themselves to do it. In the process, they become people who are so difficult to replace, so risky to lose, and so valuable that they might as well be irreplaceable.
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What does it take to become a linchpin?
According to Godin, you need to stand up and be remarkable in the way you work. Be human and contribute.
Interact. Be generous with your time and attention.
Make judgment calls instead of following the beaten path.
And take the risk that you might make someone upset with your initiative, innovation, and insight. It turns out that you’ll probably delight them instead.
And here’s a memo for company heads: When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, and more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable. The very thing that made your employee a linchpin makes YOU a linchpin.