friday feature: notes from linchpin by seth godin | los angeles photographer

i have a little journal i use for jotting down notes from the books i read.

as i’m reading, i dog-ear (yeah, yeah, i know – i don’t respect the book. i’m totally fine with that.) pages containing information or ideas i want to remember, then go back through and move it over to my journal after i’ve finished the book. sometimes i tweet little tidbits of what i get out of certain books, but i’m thinking now i may try sharing a larger segment here on the blogsite. to help you decide whether you need to read it or not…or for you to use as the cliff notes version, assuming we have the exact same brain and therefore will appreciate the exact same things. 😛

this will not be a typical book review; you can read that anywhere. i’m not going to recommend or not recommend you read it, or describe a bunch of bla-bla from it. this will just literally be a list of the things i wrote down as being worth remembering. there will obviously be plenty more within the book that i may not have needed to write in order to remember. some is word-for-word what seth godin wrote and some is modified. and some may seem totally confusing outside the context of the book.

if i start doing this regularly, i’ll give it some cutesy theme name. even cuter than “friday feature” if you can imagine that.

my notes from seth godin’s linchpin: are you indispensable?

1. read ‘ the art of possibility‘ by roz and ben zander.

2. troubleshooting is never part of a job description – it’s an art and a gift to the person in trouble. being able to do it makes you a linchpin.

3. art is a personal gift of courage, something one human does that creates change in another, the recipient.

the more people you change, the more effective your art is.

art is not related to craft or technical skill, except to the extent the craft helps deliver the change.

if there is no change, there is no art. if no one experiences it, there can be no change.

4. re: fear

if there is no sale, look for the fear.

if a marketing meeting ends in a stalemate, look for the fear.

if someone has a tantrum, breaks a promise, or won’t cooperate, there’s fear involved.

fear is the most important emotion we have. it kept our ancestors alive, after all. fear dominates the other emotions, because without our ability to avoid death, the other ones don’t matter very much.

if the meeting you’re about to call is the biggest, most important, do-or-die moment of your career, you’re likely to feel some resistance and a lot of fear- which will not help the meeting go better. one antidote is to pursue multiple paths, generating different ways to win so that meeting no longer means everything. if nothing is do-or-die, then you don’t have to worry so much about the dying part.

5. a specific coffeeshop worker (david)- saw his job as a way to give gifts. had emotional labor to contribute, and his compensation was the blessings he got from the customers. his art was the engagement with each person, a chance to change her outlook or brighten her day. not everyone can do this, and many who can, choose not to. he refused to wait for instruction, and he led with his art.

6. if you are remarkable, you shouldn’t have a résumé at all. if you’ve got experience in doing the things that make you a linchpin, a résumé hides that fact. the same system that produced standardized tests and cogs, etc, also invented it. if you don’t have things to use in place of a résumé (extraordinary recommendations, reputation that precedes you, compelling and insightful blog, etc) then you probably aren’t remarkable.

7. just because you want something to be true, doesn’t make it so. refusing to accept the truth is the same mindset that drives someone to stay in their home during a hurricane. scarcity creates value, and what’s scarce is a desire to accept what is and then work to change it for the better, not deny that it exists.

8. the candyland board game:

games of pure chance have a long history, but that doesn’t make them any less moronic – it’s early training in agenda following, indocrination in obedience. we teach kids that the best way to win is to mindlessly pick cards, follow instructions, and wait for it all to turn out okay. if you own a copy of this game, burn it. if your kids attend a school that teaches its children to be map readers and agenda followers, make em stop (or get em out).

9. being a linchpin (becoming indispensable) means using your art (giving gifts) and is separate from money and separate from the job description.

10. more cowbell – if you’re gonna play the cowbell, then play the cowbell, i.e., if you’re gonna half-ass it, go ahead and quit.

11. the stressful part is in the hoping, and the reason is your nostalgia for the future. you’ve fallen in love with a described outcome, and at every stage along the way, it appears that hope and will and effort on your part might be able to maintain the future quo.

12. we have everything we need, so we’re not buying commodities. we’re buying relationships and stories and magic. since all you have to sell are relationships, you have to bypass the scam filters (don’t try to be the rational best-price, most-convenient alternative, because you can’t.) the only path available to you is to change, connect, and make a difference.

13. what do you do when you art doesn’t work? make more art, give more gifts, learn from what you did and then do more.

14. there’s no guarantee that simply because you’re passionate about something, you’ll be good at it. the truth is, you must embrace the fact that not all creations are equal, and some people aren’t going to win. it may just mean you’re making the wrong art, perhaps your art lies elsewhere. the challenge lies in knowing your market and yourself well enough to see the truth. also, realizing that maybe you just can’t get paid for doing the art you want to do.

the end.

did anyone actually read all of that?

hopefully you did, but if not i can just use it as a backup for my book journal. 🙂

and a few photos from a summer evening:

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by alej

show hide 10 comments

jen great food for thought! I especially love #7. just because you want something to be true, doesn’t make it so – I have to remind myself of this one a lot!

jen 🙂

Therese Marie beautiful..

Sophie Crew More cowbell. Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

Renee Giugliano – Whidbey Island Photographer LOVE #14. I was in the “wrong art” for years!

Sarah Metz Great stuff. Love it!! 🙂

lauri Troubleshooting is definitely a linchpin! LOL!

PamN Seth Godin is a very wise man! Love his stuff!

Soni Nice article..very beautiful pictures..like it.thanks for sharing.

Michelle What could be cuter than that?
(even cuter than “friday feature” if you can imagine that)

4 & 7 all the way 🙂

Beautiful rose!

alej @michelle – i love 4 + 7!

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