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Stop what you are doing and go order this one from Amazon! Our team here at GCC just spend the morning processing the book and one thing we all agreed with was that Seth Godin hit this one out of the park. This is a book that will challenge, inspire, frustrated, question, and teach all at the same time. The title Linchpin refers to the changing role of work and leadership. What our organizations need to push forward and grow are not cogs or drones who follow orders but rather linchpins / artists who create great art through their work and continually challenge the status quo. I know as soon as some of you who lead organizations read that you may squirm because the last thing you want on your team are people questioning and thinking outside the box. You may not want these kind of leaders but in 2010 you need this kind of person sitting at the table. Sure you can’t control them but if you trust and empower a linchpin they may take your team to the next level…if no one cares who gets the credit this should be great for you. Looking around our staff it is so encouraging to see a room full of linchpin leaders who are leading teams of volunteers full of linchpin volunteers! This did not happen by accident…assembling this kind of team took risk and trust on our part but now on the other side of the process it is so worth it. Here are some elements of the book that really stood out to me…

  • Becoming a linchpin in my organization is a choice. // Anyone at any level of the organization can live out what is in this book…they can become indispensable…not irreplaceable but indispensable. Indispensable as in a needed, valued part of the team. Hard to replace! A leader who gives beyond what is expected, goes where they are needed, and does more than just complete their task list every day. A linchpin is an artist who takes work to another level…those are the people we want to keep on the team!
  • Run from the “lizard brain”. // Seth uses the term lizard brain as that part of us that tells us to run when we encounter fear. There is that part of our brain that continually fights to survive and fit in. Fear will try to squash my passion and try to convince me to play the game everyone else is playing. We have to fight the fear…fight the lizard brain!!!
  • Art invites criticism, that’s what all art does, it challenges the status quo. // What my organization needs from me it more than just work, it is my offering of art…what I do…what I create…how I inspire, and my team needs that week after week. Just know that linchpins will be criticized because we create art with the hours we spend at work.
  • Become a GIVER. // Look for every opportunity to give to others. Every interaction with another person is a chance to GIVE…time, money, information, encouragement, direction, hope, evaluation…just give. Giving gifts is not about what we can get in return, it is an act of compassion and care for the individuals in our tribe, our circle. Giving helps us raise the respect level of all our staff and volunteers.