Talking Linchpin with Seth Godin

Marketing podcast with Seth Godin (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download – subscribe now via iTunes

I had the pleasure of visiting with Seth Godin for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Seth’s new book Linchpin is out today and, as we discussed in our time together, this is probably his most personal message and book to date.

The message of Linchpin, to workers everywhere, is pretty simple: “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.” A Linchpin is someone who can walk into a room and create order out of chaos. They are special people who view the world differently and who may or may not have the title applicable to the value they bring.

Godin is telling you that you must become that indispensable linchpin in today’s world of work or you’ll become the drone easily replace by the mechanical drone. (In fact on page 15 of Linchpin he recounts an interaction that he and I had about a year ago that drives this very point home – The Law of the Mechanical Turk) In a way Godin is also telling those would be Linchpins, the people inside organizations that do view the world differently, to rise up and make your role as a leader tangible – to make a choice.

There is no instruction manual for becoming a linchpin, although in Godin’s words, if you have a job where you wait around for someone to tell you what to do next, you’re giving up the chance to create value. There is plenty of evidence, however, that creative workers, problem solvers, those who can lead customers and inspire staff are on the path to becoming linchpins.

In true Seth fashion he has made the launch of Linchpin, as with any book he writes, a lesson in marketing. He has an uncanny knack for tying the central message of his books to the promotional tactics of his launch. Linchpin is being reviewed not by the traditional media factory, but by a thousand you and we, linchpins in our own little world. You can read more reviews and interviews on the Linchpin Squidoo lens.

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  • Source

    I'm in a deadend job, I really need to take some advice and get some small business going! =) I need to find a niche small company of some sort.

  • ducttape

    Now's the perfect time – go for it!

  • Bob Ress

    The Thirty Day Challenge ( can be a great way to do your early market research. The program is free, and all the tools are either free or discounted.

  • janicecartier

    Excellent podcast John, excellent. I highly recommend Linchpin. Could not put it down last weekend…as a fine artist who has been working for awhile to re-introduce creativity in schools, in community, in everyday life, do you know how cool it is to have Seth spreading the word and his ideas in this book? Very cool, indeed. Thanks for the great interview. And ditto thanks for your ongoing generosity.
    All best,

  • ducttape

    Yes, art a money making business skill – who would've thought

  • janicecartier

    Yep, good to have an artist in your pocket. LOL. Or at the other end of an email…if I can ever repay your kindnesses.

  • Gil Reich

    That description of Linchpin sounds … exactly like Tribes. Doesn't it?

  • ducttape

    Perhaps, I guess, but the book is far different – this book is much more about the way to you think about whatever work you do is, it's not really about leading as much as about becoming indispensable – I think that's significantly different but could been seen as an extension of tribes I guess.

  • Web Design Philadelphia

    I agree whole heartedly with this article. As the world is going digital computers are taking the roles of humans.

  • Andy

    Excellent! As always.

  • James Todd

    If you're not in a position of strength you are in a position of weakness. Anyone can be weak but how many have something that people need? What value do you bring to your job or your customers?

    Is it easy to duplicate what you are doing? In business one should ask what is the “barrier to entry” for someone else to compete with me?

    The Internet has not only created a globally competitive marketplace (people in India and China are making lots of $ online–they're taking your customers) but it has also made a far more efficient marketplace–note how many middlemen businesses have gone away–for example people with antiques can now sell them for full market value on Ebay so finding that long lost Picasso at a garage sale is far less likely today.

    James Todd

  • Roy Simmons

    And Seth is a Gentleman. He has acknowledged me as the guy who coined the phrase 'Artists who can't draw' in his book!

  • Brian

    Excellent post. Our CEO just gave us a speech on how we should all strive to become linchpins. I wanted to share another post with your readers about Seth Godin's blog and what it means for phone marketing. Please give it a look, I think it can provide some real insight. <Ahref=””>Phone Marketing Insider

  • bushworlda

    2010 latest style Seven Jeans.A variety of styles of True Religion Jeans offered here.High praised from the cusotmers.Official online store for Seven for mankind,free shipping and fast delivery

  • Ricardo Bueno

    Hey John, been poking around the podcast. Really enjoy what you've put together around here and the interviews… Catch ya later.

  • Digital Pocket Scale

    Excellent post. Keep walking and go ahead.