Becoming a Linchpin

After a lot of persuasion from friends I finally picked up a copy of Seth Godin’s Linchpin this week. Just a few chapters in it is already a book that changes the way I view my position. However something struck me this morning. Why can a company itself not serve as a Linchpin for the community as a whole?

Godin describes a Linchpin as people who “invent, lead, connect others, make things happen, and create order out of chaos”. In a sense that really is what CustomXM has become in my mind to our community.

I met Paul a little less than a year ago. I was immediately struck by how he tries to push the envelop of what a print company can be, without fear of being ridiculed or making a mistake. That is the essence of a Linchpin.

Paul approached me as you all know a few months ago to help him with social media. I accepted not based on pay, because I could certainly make more doing other side jobs, but because I wanted to be a part of what he was doing here. I’ve seen him do that with others as well. CustomXM is up to something game changing in the print industry, and people want to be a part of it.

Finally, I am not sure if you noticed or not but the print industry is in a state of chaos. Traditional print business models simply are not working. The tighter a company embraces those models the quicker they are to fall. Everything you knew about print 5 years ago is dead. Offset press – dead, envelopes and stationary – dying with mail, large print productions – dead. Paul and CustomXM has chosen to embrace this new culture of technology, speed, interactivity, and personalization by creating a form of order out of the chaos that the print industry has fallen into. More than that he is constantly pushing the edge of what print can do and has, from what I have seen, become a leader in the industry.

Now Paul does not pay me to talk good about his company, in fact he will not see this until I publish it. I write this particular blog as a customer of CustomXM, which I am. CustomXM has become exceptional in the Little Rock community, they even have the awards to back that up. In a sense they have become a Little Rock business Linchpin.

I work every day with struggling manufacturing businesses, if there is any industry that understands the recession as well as the print business it is manufacturing. I have come to realize that the reason for this recession is not the housing market or corrupt loans. It is because businesses refused to think, they continued to do the same old thing every day. The other parts such as loans just brought the problems to the surface. In order for the US to survive and grow again we need business Linchpins in communities across America to step up the way that CustomXM has to lead this change.

If you are a business owner ask yourself what your company is doing. Are you sticking to your old principles or are you taking a risk and breaking the mold to become better than your best? Pick up a copy of Linchpin, take some time to apply it to your business, and lets get better together.

Greg Henderson is marketing and social media professional with 8 years marketing and online experience. Greg has worked with several companies focusing on integrating online and offline marketing.

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