Seth Godin is an author, speaker, and the founder of the website Squidoo. His latest book is called Linchpin: Are You Indispensible? I’ve been devouring this book this week and should finish it by this weekend. Then I’ll go back to page one and start over. It’s that good.
Ostensibly, the book is about business. But it’s about business the same way Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott is about writing. That is to say, Linchpin is about business, but it’s also about life. More specifically, it’s a call to arms to live the creative life. Godin’s basic premise is that the recipe for success used to consist of playing it safe, doing what was expected, keeping your head down and your wild ideas squarely out of the workplace. In the last few years, however, the rules have changed. If you aren’t an artist (or you aren’t seeking out artists as a business owner) you will be left behind. It is these artists who have become the linchpins of any good business or of society. He defines linchpins as the people who “invent, lead (regardless of title), connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos.
What I love about Godin is how he defines “artist”. It isn’t about painting or sculpting or even about writing or creating music. It’s about the expression and utilization of creativity energies. And he firmly believes, as do I, that all people have it within them to be creative. Some just haven’t given themselves permission to show it yet.
I’ve found the book fascinating, inspiring and invigorating. There are places where I have wanted to scream out “YES,” places where my own sense of creativity has been validated and places where I’ve set the book down, just so I can take action. There are places where I’ve been challenged- passages where Godin essentially says, “if you are doing this, congratulations. And it’s not enough, you need to be more.”
Let me share with you a small bit of inspiration from the book:
“Wait! Are You Saying That I Have To Stop Following Instructions and Start Being An Artist? Someone Who Dreams Up New Ideas and Makes Them Real? Someone Who Finds New Ways To Interact, New Pathways to Deliver Emotion, New Ways To Connect? Someone Who Acts Like a Human, Not A Cog? Me?”
Go buy this book. Today. Read it, read it again and then embrace your creative self.