June 2010 Book Review
Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Godin does a great job of connecting work passion with artistry. Here are just a few quotes that help redefine the conventional definition of an artist (hint, it’s not necessarily a designer or painter):
“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally."
(In reference to Yo-Yo Ma, Ben Zander, and Gustavo Dudamel.) “These are the guys who don’t fit in, who don’t follow the score, who know the rules but break them. They are artists.”
While part of becoming a linchpin is by working smarter and not necessarily harder, the real work seems to be in fighting what Godin calls “The Resistance.” It lies within each of us. That voice that comes up with excuses, prevents us from sending that email, or convinces us to procrastinate. “The Resistance” reveals itself through others as well. If we let others prevent us from making progress we are giving into their and our resistance. Godin also makes it clear that we have to make the choice of becoming a linchpin. You can’t always rely on others to motivate you. Doing what you’ve always done or were taught is easy. (Note: I believe in the benefits of working smarter and harder.) Here are a few quotes I felt did a great job summarizing the mindset of a linchpin:
“Great bosses and world-class organizations hire motivated people, set high expectations, and give their people room to become remarkable.”
“You can either fit in or stand out. Not both.”
“The act of deciding is the act of succeeding.”
This book definitely got me thinking about how society has raised us to conform and not stand out. Who am I kidding; it still wants me to conform. How can Godin’s concepts be applied to a job like mine in research and analysis? For me it spoke to how I need to show greater flexibility, quicker turnaround and offer the insight and direction necessary to help create change. Constantly questioning methodologies or arguing over strategies is in itself preventing progress. While questioning is good and important, too much can impede progress and change. Here’s an excerpt that sounds all too familiar to me:
In reference to symptoms of the lizard brain or “The Resistance” - "Spend[ing] hours on obsessive data collection. (Jeffrey Eisenberg reports that “79 percent of businesses obsessively capture Internet traffic data, yet only 30 percent of them change their sites as a result of analysis.”)"
The Fightin' Analyst Book Rating:
In my next posting, I will include a method I’ve been using called “Improvement Gaps” which helps with product and service development and improvements.