“Are you indispensable?”

We recently bought “Linchpin” by Seth Godin. The team read it first and then I took it with me and finished it during a long journey to Argentina.

I must say that it’s a book that opened our eyes, not necessarily by providing brand new ideas but explaining in plain English core values, dragging us inevitably back to the basics.
The exercise made me go back in time and rethink our business through a clearer perspective.

The days of the “Industrial age”, in which you worked in a “factory” (this could be any company), followed other people’s map and when that factory (company) took care of you are no longer available. The more replaceable your skills are, the lesser chances of building a stronger future. This point, translated for business owners and managers would be in questions such as: do you have a “factory platform?” (were you seek for the highest skill at the cheapest rate?), how much can you really delegate on your team? Are they coming up with valuable solutions or you are telling them what to do most of the time? How many of the people in your team can be easily replaced?

The aim is to become Linchpins: individuals that understand the power of connections and generosity, creating relevant art and “shipping” no matter what. This type of person is in high demand nowadays and it can’t be easily replaced. You can be one of those. Don’t give up.

Here are my favorite points

Emotional work

Most of the jobs in the world could be done by any trained individual. It’s about those 5 or 10 minutes of that very special work you do, that makes you different. Delivering (“shipping”) that work with a personal and unique touch (emotion) is ART. That art creates invaluable connections.
The obvious examples are all those jobs in the front line that require constant exposure and interaction with customers. It’s common to hear in those jobs: “why do I have to smile/go the extra mile/answer that extra question if I’m not getting paid extra for it?” That’s a pitty, in fact that’s all that person is getting paid for.
Knowing how to execute and/or implement emotional labor into your daily activities is precious. Do it more often.

Gifts

Giving is a fantastic thing but unfortunately “reciprocity” corrupted this art. There’s an old saying: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch…”. Sad.
If we truly master the power of generosity, we’ll realise that we can give without expecting getting repaid and because the art we create is abundant, we can never run out of it.
The Internet has made this so much easier. You can write a valuable post or e-book and give it away to so many more people now. Why would you do this? Because all those that benefit from it will think about all the great stuff that you still have to share.

The Resistance

Seth calls this, “the lizard brain” (only wants to eat and be safe). This will constantly attempt against your genious and it’s the main reason why you don’t do all the art you can nor ship when you have to. When you incorporate this concept of  “resistance” and understand what it does to you, trust me, you start thinking about how unfocused and ineffectively you work sometimes.
As part of feeling safe, the resistance will always push you to follow other people’s map instead of writting your own and figuring out what to do yourself. This is a tough one. Unfortunately this is the way we were educated in school.
After understanding “the resistance” we feel more aware about stuff that doesn’t get done and why.

Shipping

If something is worth starting, it means that you will finish it, right? Delivering on time is crucial. Not before or after, but on time whether it’s ready or not. This is usually sabotaged by so many distractions and activities that seem productive but are trully not. Remember, the resistance will make you anxious and work out too many excuses for you not to ship on time.
The exercise of shipping consistently will make you remarkable over time and provide you with something very difficult to gain by thousands of companies: confidence and momentum.

As a result of all this reading, we are working on a few interesting and challenging steps for Channelship. More to come…

Are you fine-tuning your art? Are you giving a piece of it for free? How bad is the resistance affecting you? How important is it for you to ship on time? Are you or your company indispensable to clients? Come on, leave your comment below

Best,

Fred

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Comments ( 3 )
  • gregfry says:

    Maybe you or your readers may be interested in this Linchpin Meet Up on June 14th –
    http://www.meetup.com/Linchpins-are-everywhere-

  • Channelship says:

    Thanks for that!

  • Channelship says:

    Comment by Christopher Byrne on LinkedIn:

    “Fred, I thought so too. There are some valuable takeaways from #linchpin. Here were my favorites:

    1) When your organization becomes more human, more remarkable, faster on its feet, and more likely to connect directly with customers, it becomes indispensable.

    2) Depth of knowledge combined with good judgement is worth a lot.

    3) Linchpins solves problems that people haven’t predicted, sees things people haven’t seen, and connects people who need to be connected”

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