Are you Indispensable?

Are you a Linchpin?

A person who is as indispensable as a linchpin in a hand grenade – He is missed if he is gone!

This terminology is invented by Seth Godin, an author with 13 bestselling books on his credit, an entrepreneur who has created successful businesses, a speaker who motivates audience with his mesmerizing style and examples, a visionary marketer. Seth is called “America’s Greatest Marketer”. He writes a blog which is ranked by Technorati as the #1 blog in the world written by a single individual.

Seth Godin’s focus is on the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, how to deal with the changing dynamics of this ever changing world.

I was recently reading a blog 5 Ways to Become Indispensable at Work and this post is a comparison of two distinct views on “How to become indispensable”.

Author on Forbes blog has given the following 5 ways:-

Be a superstar outside of the office:

Author suggests that one must focus on building a personal brand. Getting recognized and getting connected. An excellent advice!

Make your manager successful:

What I understood from this, that one needs to keep his/her manager happy. Author suggests that “Your manager is your workplace experience and your success is almost 100% tied to theirs. This is why you need to make them incredibly successful if you want to move up and succeed. Do everything they ask, even when they don’t ask. Take on projects that no one else ants to do and make sure you get face time with them as much as possible.”

Position yourself as the go-to expert in your field:

Author suggests that one needs to become an expert and show his/her expertise. This is somewhat contradictory to the above statement. One way he talks about making the manager look good, on the other hand he suggests to takeover him/her!

Build your own social network at work:

Following the earlier suggestions, there is no way one can build his/her own social network. Building social network requires helping and communicating with everyone in your office!

Go above and beyond the call of duty:

He is suggesting that one should “work later, harder and faster than your co-workers and do not complain”. In my opinion, working smarter is the key; rest is just unacceptable in a number of work environments.

I am afraid, the above 5 ways to become indispensable are no longer valid. One has to become a linchpin that is the only quality for becoming indispensable.

So who is a linchpin? Seth Godin describes this –

A linchpin is someone who does work that matters, someone who would be missed if they were gone. A linchpin is someone who has no trouble answering the question, “Why shouldn’t I pay someone else less to do what you’re doing?” They’re a contributor we can’t live without. Following are four key traits of a linchpin:

  1. Work without a map, figure out what to do next instead of waiting to be told.
  2. Conquer the lizard, the fear of being laughed at. [The lizard brain is a recurring theme in Linchpin — it is the primal part of the brain that operates out of fear, not out of creativity or vision.]
  3. Ship it out the door. Ship, always ship. [To ship is to send out the product, to share your product with the world.]
  4. Practice generosity. Art in all its forms involves a gift, something more than expected or demanded, and something personal that changes the recipient.


Are you a linchpin?


About the author

Hammad Siddiqui Decoding the Mystery of Career Development- Life coach & Career Advisor-Traveler-Trainer- Authored "Bootstrapping Your Career" and three eBooks -26 Yrs Exp in International Development - A passionate Trainer, Blogger and social media strategist - Qualified from US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. Loves reading, traveling, mentoring.