Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Linchpin Quadrants of Discernment

Recently I finished Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Along with many good sections, there is a discussion on an effective combination of passion and discernment. Here, discernment is the ability to understand, in a nutshell, that things change and what area(s) are in the scope of one's influence and/or ability to affect the circumstance(s) . A discerning, passionate person, a.k.a. a Linchpin understands that things change and knows what she can effectively do in the midst of that change.
Looking at the diagram used in the book below, quotes explaining the quadrants follow (from Kindle Locations to 3061 to 3083).

In the bottom right is the fundamentalist zealot. He is attached to the world as he sees it....Change is a threat. Curiosity is a threat. Competition is a threat. As a result, it's difficult for him to see the world as it is, because he insists on the world being the way he imagines it. At the same time, he has huge reservoirs of effort to invest in maintaining his worldview. Fundamentalist zealots always manage to make the world smaller, poorer, and meaner. The RIAA's campaign to sue people for listening to music online is the work of a fundamentalist zealot.
The top left belongs to the Bureaucrat. He's certainly not attached to the outcome of events, and he definitely won't be exerting any additional effort, regardless. The bureaucrat is a passionless rules follower, indifferent to external events and gliding through the day. The clerk at the post office and the exhausted VP at General Motors are both bureaucrats.
The bottom left is the corner for the Whiner. The whiner has no passion, but is extremely attached to the worldview he's brought into. Living life in fear of change, the whiner can't muster the effort to make things better, but is extremely focused on wishing that things stay as they are. I'd put most people in the newspaper industry in this corner.
And that leaves the top right, the quadrant of the Linchpin. The linchpin is enlightened enough to see the world as it is, to understand that this angry customer is not about me, that this change, in government policy is not a personal attack, that this job is not guaranteed for life. At the same time, the linchpin brings passion to the job. She knows from experience that the right effort in the right place can change the outcome, and she reserves her effort for doing just that.

Posted via email from Mark's Musings

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