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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Linchpin: Are you indispensable?- book reflection essay

Kirjoittanut: Seungyeon Shin - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
Seth Godin
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

As you all may know, I grew up in Korea. I spent most of my life there for about 20 years.

I used to complain a lot about how ridiculous it is that students spend so much time studying, and how boring it is that there are so few standards of success: going to a good university, getting a job at Samsung.


I will not whine about how bad the Korean education system is, but it will be a reflective essay that talks about the book that I recently have been reading: “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” by Seth Godin. As we study entrepreneurship here, I believe this is quite a relevant book to what we study.


Linchpin functions to prevent wheels and other objects from falling apart (OneMonrae, 2022) Linchpin means a person or thing vital to an enterprise or organization, a person who is a passionate change maker. The first chapter begins by pointing out that we are surrounded by old-fashioned authorities, workers who only wait for weekends, and employees who are afraid of fire. The desire to get a “safe and stable” job is still there, but is it a mindset that I should keep holding?


I can’t count the number of times people around me, including my parents, teachers and other adults, told me that I should have a stable job to maintain security in life. Frankly, it worked well because it was intimidating to think that you could not be like that. But nobody told us that these rules were built 200 years ago and they don’t work anymore (Godin 2010, 11-12).


In fact, they have been used to maintain PERL for a long time: Percentage of easily replaceable people for a factory. In this context, a factory is a system that combines systemized labor and continuous capital investment, tools to improve productivity, and means to achieve goals So what is the problem? The reason why the middle class suffers is that large companies or organizations treat it as a “cogwheel” that can be easily replaced at a cheaper price (Godin 2010, 21-23). One of the biggest things that Korea lacks, in my opinion, is that people are not given time to learn and explore themselves. In other words, they don’t have time to find their own lynchpin, or even time to think about it. Students do not study to learn, but to get into a good university because everyone else is doing the same. People follow a path they have been told to follow without question. And that is what Korean society likes: people who do what they are told and who are ordinary.


But I believe that this is not something that only exists in Korea but can be found everywhere to varying degrees.


What I really liked about the author’s description of the linchpin is that it is a humble component. You can buy it for a dollar at the hardware store, but it is a critical part for fixing the wheel to the axles and connecting various small parts (Godin 2010, 77). So how do we awaken our own linchpin?


If you tell yourself that you can’t come up with good ideas, you are underestimating yourself. A person who says “I can’t be as good as that person” is missing the point. These are simple skills: Drawing a picture, writing an email, and creating a ppt. What the market pays you for is not skills, but the courage to create art, insight, and value (Godin 2010, 82-83).

At this point, I would like to ask myself and you: What is the one thing that you could have done, that you should have done, that you must have done, but you didn’t? We have to finish the job, and that is the most necessary skill to become a Linchpin. The author emphasizes that the reason we don’t finish is resistance (Godin 2010, 153-155).


For example, “I can’t be as good as that person” is the resistance. We all know it exists within us. Let’s say you’ve always wanted to study fashion design, but in the end, you tell yourself it’s too late and look at all the other people who are already so talented and accomplished. You are afraid to take steps and you end up not doing anything although it was something that that you could have done, that you should have done, that you must have done.


As a result, this resistance prevents us from expressing who we are and bringing great ideas to life. Again, becoming a Linchpin requires overcoming the fear of resistance because it is the source of not making the art, we are capable of making and not finishing the work we are meant to do (Godin 2010, 159).


This book has helped me a lot to think about the factors that prevent me from becoming a Linchpin and to understand how they have worked throughout history. The question “What is the one thing you could have done, you should have done, you must have done, but you didn’t?” has at least given me some answers, and I should put them into practice. Just do it. More importantly, I realised that resistance works as fear in me. For my next book I want to read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield to understand resistance better.






Godin, S. 2010. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? Book 21(Korean translation copyright)


OneMonrae. 2022. What are Lynch Pins? Published on 10.05.2022. Read on 19.12.2023.

What Are Lynch Pins?

Soonie from Entre.

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