SIGMA kicked off an employee book club in 2010. Each month, employees read the selected book, and then we come together as a group to discuss and reflect on the chosen reading. The book club group is dynamic in that we draw employees from all functional groups in the organization. It's great to take different brains and put them around a table for a discussion: including social media minds, account management staff, executives, information technology minds, marketing analytics and application developers. We really get a unique perspective from the various personality types around the table and it makes for great discussion. I thought it might be interesting to share, each month, the book we've read and summarize the group discussion.
We've recently just completed reading Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. One of the messages that really resonated with the group is that we all have the ability to be a linchpin. A linchpin is someone who makes things happen to bring order to chaos. A linchpin doesn’t require a plan or a map—they just figure it out. A linchpin is a change agent, they just simply get things done. Linchpins sprint, and, most importantly, they ship (meaning they get done what needs to be done—they complete actions—are accountable).
While I stated before that everyone can be a linchpin, it is a conscious choice to get yourself there. A choice that requires emotional labor—you have to be your best self! Focus on giving gifts, focus on giving art. There can be no expectation of reciprocity, a gift is a genuine emotional effort to connect, to change, to make others' lives better.
A gift—your art—can be as simple as a smile, recognizing that everyone has a life story, understanding that people are human and approach situations with their own unique ladders of inference. Or a gift—your art—can be identifying the path or the map that others are struggling with and leading the team to the finish line. Create abundance, have gratitude, be your best self in all that you do. It is a conscious choice, we all have the ability, BUT, yes, it does take emotional effort. Live intentionally, pour your best self into your interactions with others—this is one of the best gifts you can give.
Take a moment to reflect on your day today, the interactions that you have had with others—in the car, at the coffee shop, with your children, with your spouse, your co-workers—were you at your best? Did they experience the best you? Learn from these reflections and be intentional about being your best self.
Are you a linchpin? If not, will you become one? What stands in your way?