Book Category: Leadership, Motivational,

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? (book summary)

Author: Seth Godin
Life Changing Principles
Quality of Writing
Overall Value
pros: Fresh mindset, helpful, great for unleashing potential
cons: A tall order
overall rating

Quick Summary

Linchpin presents a strategy for becoming a linchpin, an indispensable member of an organization.

Key Insights:

For years there has been only two teams in the workforce: management and labor. Godin proposes that a third team now exists: the linchpin.

A linchpin does not need a map to follow. A linchpin creates opportunity and vision without a manual.

The linchpin brings humanity, connection and art to work everyday.

Every person has the potential to bring his or her humanity and artistry to work, and become a linchpin.

Godin proposes that part of the human brain, the amygdala, resists anything that seems risky or dangerous, including being bold in business. The amygdala is the reason that there are not more linchpins.

Godin’s list of what makes a linchpin indispensable:

  1. Providing a unique interface between members of the organization
  2. Delivering unique creativity
  3. Managing a situation of great complexity
  4. Leading customers
  5. Inspiring staff
  6. Providing deep domain knowledge
  7. Possessing a unique talent


The problem is that our culture has engaged in a Faustian bargain, in which we trade our genius and artistry for apparent stability.

There are only two choices. Win by being more ordinary, more standard and cheaper. Or win by being faster, more remarkable, and more human.

Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done.