Linchpin by Seth Godin
I recently finished reading Linchpin by Seth Godin. There were so many Tweets from so many people about the ideas in this book, I knew I had to check it out. I'm curious to hear what you think about this book or any of the ideas that struck me:
- "Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, or a new way of getting things done."
- Art is more than paintings/sculpture/music/theater. It is a student taking extra time to present their knowledge and passion in a way that catches you by surprise. It is a moment of dedication from a teacher that makes a student feel connected to anther human being. It is my friend Bernadette making her patients feel heard as they get posed for painful radiologic imaging. It is the guy behind the deli counter telling me a funny story about falling off a horse on a beach in his home town in Jordan and the reasons why I should visit his beautiful country the while I wait for a sandwich. Find these people, listen to what they have to share.
- "Depth of knowledge combined with good judgement is worth a lot. Depth of knowledge combined with diagnostic skills or nuanced insight is worth a lot, too,"
- This quote speaks for itself. Content knowledge is important for students to have a base of fundamental literacies, but it is not enough in and of itself. We need students (and teachers) that can take existing knowledge and think about it in new ways, making new connections.
- "Expertise gives you enough insight to reinvent what everyone else assumes is the truth."
- "Linchpins are able to embrace the lack of structure and find a new path, one that works."
- Being a linchpin means you have chosen to embrace your art and passion and to bring that into your work. You become indispensable to your organization because no one does your work like you do. Our workforce, economy, and society are changing in dramatic ways. We don't need factory workers any more than we need schools that educate factory workers. We have to help students to think like linchpins.
- "Emotional labor is the task of doing important work, even when it isn't easy."
- "Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does."
- "The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship."
- This has been on my mind a lot lately. I am making concerted efforts to start projects that matter (like my Studio Learning research). I am going to create a space for teachers and students to learn in a Studio-style environment. I have let Maker projects sit unfinished for long periods of time. Once I get to work on them, I feel invigorated and have a lot of fun. I am mindful to stop the resistance inside from making excuses about why now isn't a good time to work on something and finish it. Persistence really does pay off. As does just taking a chance and "shipping" something that isn't perfect. Get feedback and make it better. But get moving.
- "The challenge, then, is to create an environment where the lizard snoozes. You can't beat it, so you must seduce it."
- Oh lizard brain, you and I fight constantly. I notice it all the time. In students, in teachers, in myself. See the quote below. When I hear the inner resistance voice telling me not to take a chance because it's a risky move, I constantly remind myself that it's okay to take the risk. Fight the lizard brain. Take a chance. Enjoy the ride that follows.
- "Don't listen to the cynics... For them, the resistance won a long time ago. When the resistance tells you not to do something, read something, or attend something, go. Do it."
- "What does it take to lead? The key distinction is the ability to forge your own path."
- I want to model being a linchpin by forging my own path, taking the risks, and moving forward without a map to guide me. Lead by example. Embrace the linchpins in your organization and try to recognize when they are pursuing a path that is unmapped. Allow the freedom of that pursuit in staff and students to see what is created and shared.