Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Part XII


Seth Godin’s Paradox ie. the Functionaries Dilemma. Seth Godin is a pop-culture synthesizer, who repeats himself over and over again as if his audience is truly “lizard brained.” Everyone knows he is deducing these arguments based on his macro-observations. He has limited experience in successful business management having created a mediocre enterprise like His primary goal is to convince the reader that you can be the linchpin without his giving substantive advice on how to be one in a practical context. His advice is “to be an artist,” along with a series of similar “be different” slogans. Linchpin is a marketing pep-talk designed to suggest that his target market is ANYONE who is working today. In reality, he is talking about entrepreneurs because most entrepreneurs espouse exactly what he is saying, and Godin wants to convince others to join in the innovative. By pretending that the pie is unlimited, he can argue that his readership can all participate in this linchpin ethos. But framing his book in the way he does, Godin is able to build a larger target market of book purchasers (to use his marketing-think). The trick is that functionaries are very useful for entrepreneurs because those workers never realize that they could do what the entrepreneur is doing. It is difficult to occupy that same space as the leader/entrepreneur/artist inhabit. As with much of his marketing-think, Godin is preaching to the converted who already understand his points, or preaching to the lizard brained who are not going to apply his advice anyway.