Whenever I make an assumption, such as: everyone knows who Seth Godin is, I'm usually wrong. Seth Godin is the best-selling author of seminal books on marketing, including Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, Meatball Sundae and many others. He writes the most-read marketing blog on the Internet at SethGodin.com. If you are a marketer, you already do, or should, read what he writes.
Now Seth has published a new book that has a much wider audience in mind than just marketers. It includes anyone who wants to have a successful career or business in this century. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? lays out the problem of work and entrepreneurship in the 21st century, and what we can do about it.
The problem: people are frustrated and angry because of how the Internet has changed the world. We grew up being compliant, cogs in a vast system that rewards people for doing what they're told, Seth says. That "we" includes corporate managers, laborers and business owners. It was easy to satisfy the RFP, to be dependable as a service provider. But because of the Internet and its leveling effect on competition, "we now know what exceptional looks like" in a worldwide marketplace. "The only people we are going to pay extra to are people who don't follow instructions, but who make up instructions; who don't just do what they are told but who do art, and change the game."
Many people, whether employees or business owners, have trouble with change because it's scary. We are all really busy, but shy away from the "emotional labor" that allows us to be truly productive. We troubleshoot, react to hundreds of daily emails, and let events control our calendars. Our high level of activity feels good at some level, but it's really a darker force at work, what Seth calls "the resistance" -- the fear that emanates from deep inside our brain and keeps us from taking the risk of thinking bigger.
The solution: Learn how to be a game-changer, a linchpin. Take 15 minutes to get the concepts down, then read the book. Then give it to all your customers and employees.