Seth Godin's book Linchpin asks the question, "Are You Indispensable?" Quite a thought provoking question! I first heard about this book on a Paperclipping Roundtable episode. (The episode was from May 2010, but I probably listened to it sometime last fall.) This book was Stacy Julian's pick of the week.
After my initial reaction of "ok, I get this idea, now what" I really enjoyed the book. I like the definition of "art" as "a personal gift that changes the recipient" and the entire chapter devoted to the fact that art must be given away. If you have invested emotional energy into creating art, you must give it away without strings attached to become successful. Another thought provoking idea!
Godin injects some humor throughout the book as he points out that the lowest cost and most efficient methods are not always the best in terms of customer service and employee satisfaction. One of my favorite examples is this comment about Wal-Mart: "There's plenty of research that indicates every time Wal-Mart enters a community, jobs disappear, businesses close, and the base of the town decays. That's okay, though, because you can get a jar of pickles the size of a Volkswagen for three dollars."
Since I enjoyed the book and believe I understood and agreed with his idea that anyone willing to invest the emotional work can become a linchpin, I had to laugh every time he indicated that many MBAs would be resistant to the work necessary to become a linchpin. Maybe I found it funny because I would never call myself an "MBA" even though I have one of those hanging on my wall (and now Robbie does too!). Mine is beautifully framed and watches over me as I scrapbook, blog, and try out other crafty endeavours.
If you've read this book, I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments. If you haven't read it, I definitely recommend it as a very thought provoking (and possibly life changing) book.