Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Are You Indispensable at Work?

This book is different. It's about a choice and it's about your life. This choice doesn't require you to quit your job, though it challenges you to rethink how you do your job.

The system we grew up with is a mess. It's falling apart at the seams and a lot of people I care about are in pain because the things we thought would work don't. Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. They have become victims, pawns in a senseless system that uses them up and undervalues them.

It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map.

Stop settling for what is good enough and start creating art that matters. Stop asking what's in it for you and start giving gifts that change people. Then, and only then, will you have achieved your potential.

For hundreds of years, the population has been seduced, scammed, and brainwashed into fitting in, following instructions, and exchanging a day's work for a day's pay. That era has come to an end and just in time.

You have brilliance in you, and your contribution is valuable, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must. I'm hoping you'll stand up and choose to make a difference.

I like my work. I have a great job. And yet there is still the need to be reminded: create art that matters! There are those times where I get focused on the numbers, on the pay, on the benefits - on what I get out of my work. But I know that what makes my job most meaningful to me flows out of the meaningful work I do for others. And Seth Godin is imploring us to make our work a gift of art that makes a difference.

Whatever your job is, you can do it with a smile and a touch of humanity, you can go the extra mile - not because you want job security or to brown-nose the customer or impress your fellow employees. You perceive your tasks as opportunities to present a gift to the recipient because you don't want to feel like a cog in a wheel, you want to be fully human. You do your job with an attitude of art: there is craftsmanship involved in the details of your work, in how you interact with other humans.

Either you settle and punch the clock and gripe about your boss, OR you view your job as a platform to impact the lives of other humans, speaking words of kindness and helpfulness, serving customers and fellow employees with dignity and respect. The workplace doesn't have to beat you down, you don't have to let others suck your humanity out of you. You can make a choice - that is what makes you full alive!

This is what makes you a Linchpin, that indispensable person at work - your attitude, your humanity, your gifts. For some of you, it won't take much effort to stand out and become indispensable. For others, your efforts at becoming a Linchpin will raise the bar for everyone - and that's the kind of difference that makes you indispensable. Because of you, stuff happens, good stuff - stuff that comes from the choices you make with your attitude, your artwork.

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