Our jobs are not going away, but for the slightly above average worker, or any other worker who falls below that standard, the times ahead are going to be tough sledding. This evokes fear in today’s workforce, but not for those employees who Seth Godin calls linchpin’s. According to Godin, a linchpin “feels the fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds”. Embracing the new landscape of our changing business environment, and revamping one’s skill-sets to fit today’s business needs, is a prerequisite for success in today’s economy.
“…[A linchpin] feels the fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds.” — Seth Godin
Our traditional education system and traditional business practices are ripped to shreds in this book. I loved the fact that Godin was not shy about going after these institutions because having grown up in a family of educators myself, and being the first employee of a start-up organization 10 years ago, my experience is in succinct alignment with Godin’s beliefs. To watch a fun video on this subject check out Prince EA’s take on youtube.
The passage in the book that most resonated was a section about how our traditional education model killed our ability to recognize and reward progress because of the allure and emphasis on perfection. Consider this following passage from the book:
“We’ve been trained since first grade to avoid mistakes. The goal of any test, after all, is to get 100 percent. No mistakes. Get nothing wrong and you get an A right? Read someone’s resume, and discover twenty years of extraordinary exploits and one typo. Which are you going to mention first? We hire for perfect, we manage for perfect, we measure for perfect, and we reward for perfect.” — Seth Godin
Often, people sacrifice progress because they are afraid their early work won’t be perfect, and it’s not very surprising when you consider the passage above. Linchpin’s don’t do this. They recognize that perfection is simply something you strive for, knowing damn well you will never achieve it. Linchpin’s relish the joy of the journey, the process of building something, tearing it down, and rebuilding it until it’s right. Linchpins turn lots of micro successes and failures into macro achievement.
In book #4 of this challenge, we learned that “sometimes you win and sometimes you learn” is a motto that applies to high performers. Linchpin’s live this philosophy every day and according to Godin, successful people are successful for one simple reason: they think about failure differently than their peers. A linchpin believes that the road to becoming the ultimate winner is paved by the losses it took to get there.
In my last post, we talked about the power of failing forward, and this is exactly what linchpin’s do, they lose so that they can win! This type of mindset always makes me think of the famous Thomas Edison quote that goes like this “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Do you have a mindset like Edison? When your ideas don’t work do you view that as success and a reason to move forward and persevere? If so, you are likely a linchpin, if not, it’s time to start making progress to become one.