You must become indispensable to thrive in the new economy. The best ways to do that are to be remarkable, insightful, an artist, someone bearing gifts. To lead. To be a linchpin.
Other interesting ideas:
Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done.
The indispensable employee brings humanity and connection and art to her organization.
There are no longer any great jobs where someone else tells you precisely what to do.
Most white-collar workers wear white collars, but they’re still working in the factory. It’s factory work because it’s planned, controlled and measured. It’s factory work because you can optimize for productivity.
The thriving organization consists of well-organized linchpins doing their thing in concert, creating more value than any factory ever could.
The hierarchy of value: Lift < Hunt < Grow < Produce < Sell < Connect < Create/invent
Organizations must be remarkable: The only way to grow is to stand out, to create something worth talking about, to treat people with respect and to have them spread the word.
You don’t become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to be indispensable is to be different.
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.
Definition of factory: A factory is an organisation that has figured it out, a place where people go to do what they’re told and earn a paycheck.
Leading is a skill (not a gift). You’re not born with it, you learn how.
The law of linchpin leverage: The more value you create in your job, the fewer clock minutes of labor you actually spend creating that value.
Depth of knowledge combined with good judgment is worth a lot.
Value of expertise: Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone else assumes is the truth.
Emotional labor: The hard work of making art, producing generosity, and exposing creativity.
Working without a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see.
Your job is a platform: You get paid to go to work and do something of value. But your job is also a platform for generosity, for expression, for art.
Krulak’s law: The closer you get to the front, the more power you have over the brand.
“The gift is to the giver, and comes back to him…” (Walt Whitman)
The essence of gift: The essence of any gift, including the gift of emotional labor, is that you don’t do it for a tangible, guaranteed reward.
Definition of art: Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient.
Art is human, original, a product of emotional labor and a gift. It’s challenging to the status quo.
Passion: A desire, insistence and willingness to give a gift. People with passion look for ways to make things happen. The combination of passion and art is what makes someone a linchpin.
The easier it is to quantify, the less it’s worth.
The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.
Thrash early in order to ship.
Your job is to allow the artist inside you do its thing.
You become a winner because you are good at losing.
How to find good ideas: Finding good ideas is surprisingly easy once you deal with the problem of finding bad ideas. If you don’t have any good ideas, you don’t have any bad ideas either.
The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
Busywork is the best excuse the resistance has.
You can’t make a map unless you can see the world as it is.
Handling bad news: The best way to handle bad news is to ask, “Isn’t that interesting?” Learn what you can learn; then move on.
Why seeing the future is difficult: Attachment to an outcome combined with the resistance and fear of change.
Nostalgia for the future is a nostalgic feeling about desirable outcomes that haven’t happened yet. It’s an attachment of the worst sort.
Linchpins do two things for the organisation. They exert emotional labor and they make a map.
What makes you indispensable: Providing a unique interface between members of the organisation; delivering unique creativity; managing a situation or organisation of great complexity; leading customers; inspiring staff; providing deep domain knowledge; possessing a unique talent.
Mentoring is rarely about the facts of the deal (the facts are easily found), but instead is a transfer of emotion and confidence.
Overall evaluation: This book is a piece of art. Read it and it will change you. If you only read one book a year, make it this one.
More: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future