Seth Godin Asks: Are you a Cog or a Linchpin?

The Connection between Seth Godin’s Purple Cow and Linchpin

Seth Godin’s earlier book Purple Cow suggests in the internet world an average product for an average person was no longer effective. Instead, you needed a Purple Cow – a product remarkable enough to get people talking naturally about it. Now, it’s your turn. In Linchpin, Seth says YOU need to be remarkable or indispensable to be successful in your career. It’s time for Purple You!

In this post we ask the basic career question: Are you a Cog or a Linchpin? In other words, are you a Purple Cow?

(This is an excerpt from the Book Rapper issue, Purple You, derived from Seth Godin’s book, Linchpin.)

Your Career Choice: Cog or Linchpin

Are you a Cog or a Linchpin? On the surface, that doesn’t sound like a fair question – nobody wants to admit they’re a cog in a machine. But unless you face this truth your career might stall or worse, go into freefall.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of good cog opportunities around anymore – you don’t want to be stuck here. In contrast, being indispensable and a Linchpin is necessary in every organisation. Yes, it takes more effort and that what makes it more rewarding and more satisfying.

The table on the right sums up many of the differences between a Cog and a Linchpin. One tends to follow along the other stands up and leads the way. Instead of sucking it up, you make it happen. And as a result, you’re likely to earn more because you contribute more.

The good news is that once you become a Linchpin you can express yourself more freely. And that is the path to becoming one – start to contribute all of you. Instead of simply showing up, start being remarkable and bring your personality and attitude to your work.

I am a Genius.

Making the choice to become a Linchpin revolves around this fundamental question: Are you willing to accept that you are a genius?

All of us have been a genius on at least one occasion. Can you remember your magic moments? Most of us don’t think of ourselves as a genius because we expect to be that all the time. Clearly, a genius doesn’t run late for meetings, lose their car keys or sit on their sunglasses. 

None of us are born indispensable. We need to make ourselves and train ourselves to be Linchpins. Your choice is to either suppress or express your natural inclinations. What’s it going to be? Choose!

Your Worldview

How do you see the world? Do you play to protect and restrict and ultimately maintain the status quo? Or are you actively playing to enlarge the pie for everyone?

Are you living in scarcity? Do you hang onto, hide and hoard your best ideas? Do you see a limited range of opportunities or are they bountiful?

Are you stingy or generous? The generous spirit shares their gift. They create and innovate to produce better results for everyone. And the more they contribute the more rewards come their way.

Who do you choose to be in the future? Scarce or generous? A cog or a Linchpin? Choose!

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