Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Linchpin - a review

This is a two part post.

Part One: If you get a chance, click your way over to the Acumen Fund website and check it out. Here’s a snippet from their web page.

Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. We seek to prove that small amounts of philanthropic capital, combined with large doses of business acumen, can build thriving enterprises that serve vast numbers of the poor. Our investments focus on delivering affordable, critical goods and services – like health, water, housing and energy – through innovative, market-oriented approaches.

The reason I ask that you check these guys out is Seth Godin requested that those of us who received a preview copy of his new book, Linchpin, donate to the Acumen Fund. It’s a great organization and we here at [FIND] Investigations are proud to be a part, a very small part, of the process.

Part Two:

Linchpin, like the other books I’ve read by Seth Godin, is not a how-to book. Sure, it falls neatly into the self-help genre, but there’s no set of rules for improving your self-image or list of things you can do to close more sales. What you find in Linchpin are the typical Seth Godin stories, anecdotes from real life that offer a glimpse into the actions of successful people.

What’s interesting is the definition of success that tends to thread its way through Godin’s books. It’s not measured in dollars, necessarily, or even lifestyle, but perception, maybe even happiness. My favorite example is the coffee shop worker at Dean and Deluca in New York who says he’s working for blessings. This guy has made himself indispensible to his employer by simply doing nice things for “his” customers.

Godin claims that he does not tell you what to do, but if you read the book through, there’s a clear call to action. Be amazing. From Godin’s advice of avoiding resumes to his suggestion that you Google yourself, something we self obsessed people do all the time. End of the day, the point is to use the technology available, our natural instinct to make connections, and simple common courtesy to shine. Like any really useful self-help book, Linchpin simply affirms what you already know.

I’ll let you in on a little secret here. The staff at [FIND] Investigations tries to employ Godin’s ideas whenever and wherever possible. Check out our web site, It is unlike any other investigations company web site out there. Click over to Marketplace and listen to our public radio stories. Sign up for the [FIND] Investigations Monthly Ledger, our monthly newsletter.

Now, it is true that we do all of these things in order to set ourselves apart from other investigation companies. But more importantly, these are outlets for our creativity and a chance for us to show you a little bit about how we think, the way we approach a problem.

Godin says in Linchpin, “Great jobs, world-class jobs, jobs people kill for – those jobs don’t get filled by people emailing in resumes.” Well, we won’t show you a resume, but feel free to drop by any time and take a tour of our method.


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