Reading is great. Some people read for entertainment, some for knowledge. I personally read for knowledge, but I am very entertained by the knowledge I learn in books. Most of the books I read have to do with business in some way or another. If you read for knowledge, it is vital that you get the information or ideas gained from the books you read and apply them to your life and business. I call these takeaway ideas.
I take notes when I read books (if you want to know how I take notes, here is a post that explains how I read a book) My goal each week is to take one idea, one takeaway, from the books I read and apply that concept in my life and business. The number of takeaways I glean from a book varies by the attention I give to the book, the issues I am working on in business and life, and how applicable I perceive the material to be.
Today, I am going to talk about the book Linchpin by Seth Godin. For this book, I have a list of great takeaway ideas. Some are ideas or concepts and some are actionable items but all are great bits of knowledge. Some ave provided ideas for posts while others, like the one below, have changed the way I operate my business and live my life. Now, on to the book.
Linchpin is a terrific book. In basic terms, a linchpin is a fastener that keeps a wheel attached to the axle it is riding on. A linchpin holds things together and without it, the wheels come off, literally and figuratively.
In the book, a Linchpin is an employee that is vital to the organization. They get things done. They ship. They do whatever is required to persevere and accomplish the goal. They keep the wheels from coming off.
Takeaway #1 from Linchpin
This takeaway is from page 103,
The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship…Shipping is the collision between your work and the outside world.
Part of my personality is to start projects and turn them over to others for execution. While this is great for delegation, it has often gotten me in trouble for not completing what I was asked to do. Too often, what is a strength in one area is a weakness in another.
To apply this takeaway, I am learning to focus on the big picture. Specifically, I remind myself everyday that the little things I do add up to big accomplishments in the future. The only way to get better is to practice and the only way to really practice is to ship. I have to tell myself that everyday; when I have a blog post due and it is already 11pm or something needs to be fixed on my website. The little things are the foundation for success. The little things grow into the big things.
To be a linchpin, we must ship and shipping means sharing our creation with the world. It is easy to lose sight of why we are doing a project when we are deep into the project itself. The drudgery of it all takes a toll and we question how important the project is in the whole scheme of things. We must focus on the end result because as linchpins, we must ship. It is hard but that is what linchpins do, no matter what.
How will you apply this takeaway from Linchpin? If you haven’t read it yet, it is a great book and I highly suggest that you put it on your reading list. Remember, just one idea can change your life.