Is that drama queen enough for you? I know that is a wild statement with plenty of hints of exaggeration. But if Seth Godin's "Linchpin" hasn't changed my life, it has at least changed how I view it.
When Little Pea turned one and I started to worry more about the age old question of "What do I want to be when I grow up?" I started to ask for recommendations from several trusted sources on what I should read that might help me work through an answer. I now have a great little reading list of books I plan to weed through, but the one that stuck out first and foremost was Godin's. I couldn't resist the tagline:
Are you indispensable?
I want to warn you right now: the beginning of this book is long. It is repetitive. It is utterly depressing. Even the author warns that you will want to give up reading the book but he encourages you to stick around until page 101. Even at 102 I wanted to give up and toss the book aside. Forget 101, page 150 is where everything changed for me.
There are so many lessons to be gathered from the ending of his book, but the one I have completely absorbed is his description of the culture of gifts. Godin argues that if you want to be a linchpin, an indispensable person, the girl your company/social network/family cannot live without then you need to find your calling, your special talent and give it freely to the world without expectation of reciprocity. Your gift is that little something special that makes you stand out from the crowd and makes those who know you better off for having you in their life.
As I was reading the book, it all sounded fine and dandy but I was Skeptical. I was bitter and jaded about his whole proposition. I confess I think he sounded like a complete nut job. If you choose to follow his advice, you're supposed to just give away this special talent of yours for free. The more you give, the more indispensable you are. It sounded like a whole lot of effort with very little reward or recognition.
Just as I was starting to wade through the ending of the book a crazy thing happened. With insanely coincidental timing I accidentally happened upon the absolute perfect illustration of everything he was trying to get at and it all made perfect sense.
But that's a story for tomorrow.