A review of the Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin.
The challenge of becoming a linchpin solely based on your skill at plying a craft or doing a task or playing a sport is that the market can find other people with that skill with surprising ease. Plenty of people can play the flute as well as you can, clean a house as well as you can, program in Python as well as you can. If all you can do is the task and you’re not in a league of your own at doing the task, you’re not indispensable.
Statistics are a dangerous deal, because statistics make it strikingly clear that you’re only a little better than the other guy. Or perhaps not better at all.
When you start down the path of beating the competition based on something that can be easily measured, you’re betting that with practice and determination, you can do better than Len Hutton or Jack Hobbs did at cricket. Not a little better, but Don Bradman better.
And you can’t.
Being as charming as Julia Roberts or as direct as Marlon Brando or as provocative as Danny Boyle—that’s way easier than playing cricket better than anyone who ever lived.
What does it mean to be indispensable and how does one become indispensable? Godin discusses the importance of shipping your art, the role of education, the meaning of art (and being an artist, and how to become a linchpin. How to be indispensable in a world without maps—without direction and a “how to” manual.
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