How to Become a Linchpin

by Ronnie Nurss on January 20, 2012

Next week we’ll be having a discussion here at ThinkHouse about Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin.

So, what is a linchpin?

According to Godin, a linchpin is the essential element, the person who holds part of the operation together. Without the linchpin, things fall apart.

Linchpins are so valuable to their organization or company that they are indispensable. They’re recession-proof.

Every business needs linchpins. And no business can ever have enough of them.

We all know someone who fits the description of a linchpin.  The biggest thing though is that we all have the ability to become a linchpin, for our company, our customers, or even our community.

Here are a few things Linchpins do regularly. Applying these qualities to your every day life will help you become a Linchpin.

Linchpins challenge the status quo.
One example is never saying, “Sorry! Not my job.” Linchpins don’t settle for the limitations of their job description or duties. Sure, they perform their job as well as they can. But they don’t stop just there. They go the extra mile. Always creating ideas, helping colleagues, becoming valuable to their coworkers and bosses.

Maybe they invest in themselves; learning a new skill, volunteering for a local organization or building relationships in relevant professional groups.  They don’t just do their time, 9-5, then go home and watch 4 hours of TV, including the 47th season of American Idol.

They don’t follow the masses or the herd or conventionality. They are not slaves to comfortable routines or being OK with just doing the minimum, being average.

Linchpins create art.
Again, art doesn’t have to be a painting or sculpture. Art is something you create or perform with passion and purpose. We’re all artists….why do you think there hundreds of books titled The Art of Business, The Art of Negotiation, The Art of Relationships, the Art of War?

Godin defines art as “anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal.” And an artist is someone who “uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo….and and artist takes it personally.”

Treat your job like your art.  Put everything you can into it: passion, energy, enthusiasm and ambition.

Linchpins view everything as a platform, an opportunity.  

They view their job as a platform to create art. Godin continues, ”Every interaction you have with a coworker or customer is an opportunity to practice the art of interaction.”Everything is an opportunity. Every meeting, every new idea or piece of information, every new task or assignment you get handed. Make that a platform for you art; create something so valuable and influential that people notice you, positively. When you start viewing everything as a platform, an opportunity, then your day to day routine becomes more exciting. You become more purposeful with your time, more energized by your work, and ultimately, a lot more passionate about what you do and really making a difference.

Ultimately, Linchpins solve problems that people haven’t predicted, see things people havnt seen, and connect people who need to be connected. We can all be linchpins. Starting with to live with these qualities is how we can start. 

Join the conversation on Linchpin next Thursday, January 26, 7 p.m. here at ThinkHouse Collective.

Did you like this? Share it:
Susan Herman January 20, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I’ll have to miss but would like to come in Feb (assuming first one is a smashing success). Hubby has been wanting to start something like this for his water cooler (read: pub) circle for awhile so we may come together. Got next month’s book all queued up?

Tara Ingram January 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

A fabulous and fun idea! Can’t make this months but look forward to February’s meeting.

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