Linchpin or Doormat?


Absolutely necessary or essential.

necessary – needful – essential – imperative – requisite


The thing we wipe our feet on coming & going

It’s obvious what I’m reading from my title; and yes, I’m a little behind the pop-culture curve.

You can also tell I’m a bit ambivalent. There is a fine line between being a, or the, doer (responsible, reliable, flexible, a linchpin) going the extra mile to do your job well and being used by those that, simply, don’t. Being used is not part of anyone’s job description, but it is the result when colleagues abdicate their duties/responsibilities and expect someone to pick up the slack, effectively purloining the efforts of others. The reason for this is irrelevant. Yet, to allow it more than once, is my fault (shame me once, shame me twice) and the extent I allow it is indicative of the value I place on the work. Getting used tends to cheapen any accomplishment.

While it is also the height of vanity to think any one person is irreplaceable, when I’m not present, I’d like there to be a gap. I’d like my absence to be noted, felt. I’d like to be a contributor, not a space-saver. I also agree with the importance of doing your best and being your best in all situations. The cliche about attitude is everything is paramount to anyone’s ability to overcome obstacles, to persevere through the challenges, to attain the goal or goals set. And, requisite to accomplishing anything: not being afraid to do the little extra required; work is not a dirty four letter word. Lastly, the importance of giving of your time, your self (not your mere presence), and, that giving is not giving if you give to get; gifts should not have strings

My ambivalence also stems from something I can’t quite put my finger on, something disingenuous. It’s an unsettled, skeptical feeling I have after reading the book. If you are giving to the world around you, a true gift without strings, you’re not focused upon yourself. The whole book, though, is about giving and knowing you’ll be rewarded; the whole book is focused upon ‘self.’ Frankly, focusing on yourself tends to leave little room for others. Plus, I don’t really see the insight in writing that craftsmanship will find a niche in the market; I don’t see the insight when ‘capitalism’ is ‘bad,’ but greed is not discussed; I don’t see the insight in disparaging day-to-day work.

I guess, I feel like the message is to create your linchpin status at any cost. You need to be liked, you need to give, you need to be focused on yourself, you need to…whatever. No, you don’t. There should be a line, a mental stop sign, because you do not have to like everyone you work with (or be liked by them…liking is irrelevant) to do a job well and maintain professionalism, because you don’t have to be stepped on and treated like a door mat to create a linchpin status, because several working together for a common goal can usually achieve more than most individuals. I absolutely agree, to do your job well, to do anything well, requires doing more than the minimum. It does require an internal commitment to being more than average and an understanding that doing this work will probably not result in applause. But, it also requires finding the right people to accomplish a task. It requires looking beyond your self to really find the purpose to make a difference.


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