In his blockbuster bestseller “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” Seth Godin did his usual Seth-y thing by pulling together some fantastically inspirational – and totally unrealistic – ideas. In the book, he suggested that the way to true longevity in your career is by making yourself indispensable to your organization. And you do that by going above and beyond, creating unparalleled value, and in general becoming so remarkable that the organization can’t survive without you.
I know firsthand that the more “remarkable” you become, the more you are despised, feared, and outcast by your co-workers. Go above and beyond and the rest of the unremarkable workers don’t cheer you on; they detest you and do everything they can to sandbag your efforts. You are a threat to the status quo, and to the realms of ordinary folk who surround you — you know, the ones who desire nothing more than to show up for their 9-to-5 and then head home, only to repeat it all the next day. Repetition doesn’t bother them; what bothers them is anyone who dares veers outside the norm, making the rest of the worker bees look bad.
I would venture to say that being remarkable has caused more people to lose their jobs, than to keep them.
Job security is predicated upon keeping your head down, not making waves, and not challenging the natural order of things.
Doesn’t sound too fun, does it? It’s not. Especially for someone like YOU — someone who longs to be of value, to make a difference, to effect change. You don’t belong in an organization any more than Seth Godin does.
If you don’t fit into the corporate mold but are wary of heading out on your own, for fear that the risk of working for yourself is more than you can take on, then you need to listen to this:
In this audio for the Foolish Adventure Show, Tim Conley and I discuss the fallacy of the “safety of the linchpin,” and share why the only true safety is taking care of your own destiny.
Invest less than an hour in yourself. You won’t regret it.