Tag Archive: Linchpin


Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors. I just finished reading “Linchpin” .The first paragraph on the inside jacket which convinced me to buythe book says “The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.” Personally, I think that is a powerful statement!

When you remove the jacket of the book there is a collage of photographs. In the middle of all the photos is a caption “Will you make a difference”. Being very curious I carefully studied each photo trying to recognize the people only to discover there is only one person I recognize and blown away that I know her personally! Congrats Flo Schell 

As I said, Seth Godin is one of my favorite authors. He is a favorite because he makes me think. He makes me think hard!  After reading the first few chapters I recommended the book to one of my franchisee focus groups. A few members read just the first chapter and requested that we make it part of our next discussion topic.  Our goal is to make ourselves indispensable which will make COMPUTER EXPLORERS indispensable.

Some of the things that I learned after reading Linchpin:

  • You don’t become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to be indispensable is to be different. That’s because if you’re the same, so are plenty of other people.
  • The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.
  • Markets are crying out. We need to stand up and be remarkable. Be human. Contribute. Interact. Take the risk that  might make someone upset with your initiative and  innovation.
  • Perhaps your challenge isn’t finding a better project or a better boss. Perhaps you need to get in touch with what it means to feel passionate. People with passion look for ways to make things happen.

Seth says that Linchpins do two things for the organization. They exert emotional labor and they make a map. He lists seven abilities of the Linchpin:

  1. Providing a unique interface between members of the organization
  2. Delivering unique creativity
  3. Managing a situation or organization of great complexity
  4. Leading customers
  5. Inspiring staff
  6. Providing deep domain knowledge
  7. Possessing a unique talent

 When I review the abilities above I realize I’m closer than I thought to being a Linchpin. 

How close are you?

Remarkable Franchisees

I know I spend a great deal of time bragging on my franchisees but I just can’t help it! COMPUTER EXPLORERS is a system of independent business owners who work hard to grow their business, committed to quality technology education in their communities and work as a team to grow the system.
Last week I posted a press release to PitchEngine about Jen Morack’s momentous 20th anniversary with COMPUTER EXPLORERS. The release received hundreds of hits which is impressive but more importantly it received great feedback and congratulatory notes to Jen and COMPUTER EXPLORERS.
 
Charlie wrote: “Congratulations! this speaks volumes not only for Jen Morack but also for Computer Explorers. To be able to adapt in the rapidly advancing field of technology over the past twenty years is a true accomplishment. Not only has this program adapted but it has also raised the bar on childhood education.”
 
Carolyn posted: “Congratulations to Jen! Such dedication is a rare thing in this ever-changing world. This clearly demonstrates Jen’s belief in the product as well as her unique abilities as a franchisee. Just think about how much technology has changed and grown in the past 20 years and how much change and development it demanded of Jen and Computer Explorers. Extremely impressive! Jen should be very proud of herself and Computer Explorers should be honored to have her. Congratulations once again!”
 
To celebrate Jen’s anniversary I traveled to New Jersey to attend  local camp expo that she was participating in. The event was a great success with the help from Jen’s staff and local franchisees!  Franchisees Linda Darwish, David Rhodes and Laura Graham-Leonard visited the expo to congratulate Jen and/or help with demonstrations. Laura spent a few hours demonstrating some of our TechStars programs working with children programming BeeBot or bowl with ProBot. Patty Titen, Manager for COMPUTER EXPLORERS Monmouth County has worked with COMPUTER EXPLORERS since 2002 and attended the expo to meet parents and explain the programs offered in the area.
Jen’s teacher Tracy delivered an album filled with photos and messages from local families and directors. Another teacher, Mrs. Jay along with her sister and two cousins worked with Green Screen curriculum. The took lots of pictures of families and children super imposing them into Sesame Street with Big Bird and cast. Jackie a teacher and manager for Jen brought her 13-year-old daughter  to dress as CT the COMPUTER EXPLORERS turtle mascot and greet children passing out delicious logo cookies. 
As I visited the camp booths and met representatives I don’t think any had the level of activity, excitement, enthusiasm and passion that the COMPUTER EXPLORERS booth contained. Don’t get me wrong, they had dedicated people that were working hard to promote their programs but we had a remarkable group of people. Seth Godin writes about remarkable people in his book Linchpin. He says, “People are not products with features, benefits, and viral marketing campaigns, they are individuals. If we’re going to talk about them, we’re going to discuss what they do, not who they are.”
 
 I can only speak for myself when I say I am thrilled that Jen is a franchisee.  She is just one of many remarkable franchisees in our system and I recommend that you visit the location page of the local franchisee in your area to learn more about them, their team and the programs they offer.