Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 10th, 2012

Linchpin or Connector: Who are they, and what they do?

I didn’t read “Linchpin” by  Seth Godin: My nephew listened to the audio, read in  Godin’s voice, and he told me the book is short and the reading does not last more than three hours, at best.  I am not the type to sit listening for three hours, not even in movies. I love reading hard copies.

Fortunately, someone posted a review of the book that she completed reading this January and her post was displayed on Freshly Pressed. I decided to repost it for those who don’t trouble themselves with Freshly Pressed selected posts, simply because management requires some kind of pictures attached to the post. (Sentences in parenthesis are mine).

“One of the key take-away for me from the book was: Inside an organization, take “initiatives” without hoping for rewards. That translates to: If you see a problem in an organization, take an initiative to solve it without hoping to get rewarded for solving the problem. (I wonder, what if you failed to solve the problem, wouldn’t you be fired for taking initiatives that wasted “company time”?)

Other take-away for me was the idea that Linchpin is more about the mind-set rather than the skill-set that you may have. Godin, I believe, does not state this meaning of a Linchpin in direct words, but he does have a chapter in which he walks through the characteristics that one can acquire and become a Linchpin. (I assume the mind-set is effective after acquiring the requisite skills?)

And the benefit of being a Linchpin is that you are indispensable in this new economy. Here are few characteristics of a Linchpin worth pointing out:

1. Linchpins are good at making connections. They are a “glue” that holds the organization together. (Malcolm Gladwell explained who is a Connector in a society, along with who is a Maven and a Salesman…I think the guy who takes pictures of the list of ingredients in a product and check the rating of the health and safety values of the product is a typical connector…)

2. Linchpins understand the power of giving gifts. They understand that the more they give, the more they’ll receive.

3. Linchpins do not “strive” to fit in. They are comfortable with the unique talent that they know they own. (What is this talent again?)

4. Linchpins are passionate.  PLUS they are NOT attached to their own viewpoint of the world. They see the world as it is.  (Is seeing the world as it is not a personal viewpoint?)

5. Linchpins do not need a “Manual” of what they should do. They are good at figuring out path/solution on their own. Do NOT translate it to “Asking for help is bad” (What they do? Start another round of trial and error process to figure out the solution?)

I liked reading about this new concept of being a “Linchpin” as it exposed me to few ideas of becoming indispensable that I believe would help me advance my career. And I can’t wait to work on acquiring the characteristics that were described in the book.

Side-note: I liked it that Seth Godin began by describing why he thinks the new economy is best suited for Linchpins. If you have read the first couple of chapters then it’s hard to put the book down.

Conclusion: So if you are part of an organization, and you aim to advance your career, give this book a shot. It does NOT tell you “what” to do: After all, Linchpins do not need “instructions”, right? But the book does share some key ideas that would help you advance in your career. (Aren’t these pragmatic ideas expected to be mostly reviewed?)

If you care to know the style of Godin, here is an example:

Stick to what you (don’t) know

“One of the dumbest forms of criticism is to shoot down an expert in one field who speaks up about something else. For example, the actor with a political point of view, or the physicist who talks about philosophy.

The theory is that people should stick to what they know and quietly sit by in all other situations.

Of course, at one point, we all knew nothing. The only way you ever know anything is to speak up about it. Outline your argument, support it, listen, revise.

The byproduct of speaking up about what you don’t know is that you soon know more. And just maybe, the experts learn something from you and your process.

No one knows more about the way you think than you do. Applying that approach, combining your experience, taking a risk…This is what we need from you.” End of quote

I loved that suggestion: If you think you know something that interest you, which is necessarily out of your restricted field of expertise, the best way to know more is taking opportunities to express it in front of people for feedback…

Be bold: You are the least of the “dumbs” in the audience who hate to discuss anything out of what they think they know…

Note: The reviewer of Linchpin offered a few of her review to check out: Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts




March 2012

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