SETH GODIN – LINCHPIN #1
Are you familiar with Seth Godin?
- An Indispensable Man
He’s a prolific author, a brilliant marketer, a visionary and one of the kindest human beings walking this planet. He makes the world a better place. And he makes my life better and he can do the same for you.
Mr. Godin embodies the modern day work force. He gets how we tick and what motivates us as workers, consumers and bosses. And he is our biggest cheerleader.
How so? Through his works, he tells us that we are allowed to dream and then, proves that we can actually achieve them.
He’s the light at the end of the tunnel during these tough, economic times.
He’s a linchpin – he’s indispensable. And he wants the same for you.
You may be scratching your head about my reference to linchpin and wondering what I mean. Mr. Godin’s most recent book is called Linchpin. I am in the middle of reading the book now and it is impacting my life like none other than, well, the Bible. But, I’ll use his words to describe it.
Here’s how Mr. Godin describes the idea of a linchpin.
A linchpin is an unassuming piece of hardware, something you can buy for sixty-nine cents at the local hardware store. It’s not glamorous, but it’s essential.
Every successful organization has at least one linchpin; some have dozens or even thousands. The linchpin is the essential element, the person who holds part of the organization together. Without the linchpin, the things falls apart.”
I am joining his bandwagon and will from time to time profile people who are changing others course of life; those who make a difference like he does. In “Linchpin,” Mr. Godin challenges us to choose to become indispensable – to create art – do more on the job – be innovative – live without a map – enjoy what we do.
Also, to show you how much he believes in this way of life, he asked his blog readers awhile ago to send in photos of people who were linchpins in their life. He then used these photo to grace the inside cover of his book. It’s a marvelous image which is pictured below.
We all have linchpins and so, I would like to honor those in my life. This is my first post of one of my linchpins and others will soon follow. If you would like to share yours with me as well, I’ll happily post them on my site.
Linchpins should be honored and shared. You can’t live without them.
Thank you Seth Godin for sharing your gifts with the world- you are helping others achieve a new way of life.
By the way, I emailed Mr. Godin to see if I could get his permission to use the term Linchpin on my site and being the true linchpin that he is – here was his reply.
“Go for it, Cindy.”
A Linchpin in Training,
DR. WILLIAM ANKERBERG – LINCHPIN #2
- An Inspiring Leader and Life Changer
This post is a second in a series I have produced under the Linchpin title. The Linchpin philosophy is based on Seth Godin’s best-selling book, Linchpin. Linchpins are those people who make a difference in your life. It is my hope that we all are Linchpins to others during our lifetime.
Dr. William “Bill” Ankerberg has been my pastor for over five years and without a doubt his teaching and leadership at Whittier Area Community Church (WACC) has changed my life for the better in many ways. I have attended many churches (all sizes) in my Christian journey, but, none have come close to impacting my life as WACC.
What makes this church body so different?
Without a doubt it is its leader – Pastor Bill.
Here’s why. He makes each one of us who hear his words or those who know him better human beings.
“A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” - Jim Rohn
And here’s how he’s been able to do that. He lives his life transparently from the pulpit, office and home. He lives his life honestly and has a God-given ability to understand where people are at and just loves them no matter their spiritual level. When you are with him, you immediately feel accepted and not judged – which is a huge accomplishment coming from a Pastor of 4,000 attendees. He’s like the perfect Dad.
He’s kind. He’s generous. He feels for those who are in need. He wants to make a difference and as such, he’s teaching us those things. The mission statement for the church is really his mission statement – Follow God + Love People. He loves his God and is obedient while loving people. And he especially loves providing for people.
I have to admit that I was a bit more shallow of a person before I came to WACC, but, through the church’s teaching I have become more generous, more helpful to others, less self-centered, more God loving, considerate, kind and even more innovative in my thinking. I’ve also changed my priorities in life from not pursuing my own best interests – but, trusting God’s plan for my life.
And I can fully say I’ve made these changes, because Pastor Bill gave me great opportunities to learn how to through endeavors he has put forth from the pulpit. Here’s a short description of some events that helped me grow.
*Serve Weekend - One weekend a year the church shuts its doors so we can go out into the community and provide services for others in need. The church pays for all the necessary tools and equipment and off we go helping in over 100 projects. In my time there, I’ve fed the firemen, washed police cars, packed up supplies for soldiers and painted new lines on an elementary school playground. This event has changed my life and made me more civic minded.
- We fed local firemen for an entire weekend to say thanks.
*Homeless Shelter – Our church assists in helping the town’s cold-weather shelter by providing meals to 40-some homeless adult individuals. I’ve had the pleasure to lend a hand serving them a warm meal and have met some wonderful people who are trying to turn their lives around. This event has opened up my heart more to others.
*The Malawi Miracle – The Malawi Miracle is an event that I will be proud of my entire life. Because of Pastor Bill’s heart to help those in need, he wanted to help build a pediatric hospital in Malawi at the African Bible College. His daughter recently ministered there and when she asked her dad if we could build a much-needed hospital in that location, he thought we could. He originally thought it would only take $60,000 to build it to help the people in the poorest nation of the world. So he decided that he would donate our Christmas offering to go toward building that 40 bed hospital. He implored all of us to give as much as we could sacrificially. Previously, the most our church has ever raised during Christmas was $27K. So we needed a miracle. And then we heard that it would take over $106,000 to build the AIDS hospital. We needed a mega-miracle. But, the people responded. They gave up Christmas presents and vacations. They sold jewelry, lemonade and cookies. They gave up physical therapy. And what was the final number? The church members gave over $500,000. It’s a miracle I will never forget and a project I am proud to say I was a part of. To see a video created by Bono and Willow Creek Church about this Miracle, click here.
I could go on and on about him. But, there just isn’t enough time…but, here are few other top line points about him that makes him so inspiring.
*He loves current events and the media. He frequently goes to the movies and always starts out the sermon with something ripped out of the pages. This trait makes him so relatable to others.
*He answers his email quickly and is someone who is extremely approachable.
*He loves to learn and learn from others.
*He gives up his pulpit from time to time to give experience to other pastors on his staff.
*His management style is team leadership. He doesn’t micro-manage and supports good ideas.
*He stands by his word and is a man of integrity in all he does.
*His sermons are honest – he never asks us to do something that he doesn’t have to do himself. Just take a look at this recent sermon when he told us how difficult marriage is even when you’re a pastor.
I am a better person with Dr. Bill Ankerberg in my life. If you are reading this and do not live near Whittier, you can still learn from this wonderful man by visiting WACC.net or by dropping him a email and telling him hello. Any communication with him will change your life.
Thank you Pastor Bill for your support and love!
MICHAEL FRANK SULENTICH – LINCHPIN EMERITUS
- Me and My Best Friend, Uncle Mike
How did you learn about friendship?
I learned it through someone who modeled it toward me every day of my life – Michael (Uncle Mike) Frank Sulentich. Although, he was not a blood relative – he was my relative, if you know what I mean. He and his wife Winnie were from the same small Northern Minnesota town as my mom and dad and both families left that state and coincidentally landed in the same town in Southern California. We were each other’s relatives, the closest of kin from that day forward. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without growing up with the Sulentich’s.
Winnie and Mike have been a part of every thing that my family has gone through and vice versa. We shared it all. Holidays. Vacations. Birthdays. Surgeries. Divorces. Births. And now sadly, deaths.
Today’s post, I never wanted to write. I never wanted this day to come when my best friend Mike Sulentich was put to rest. He is one of those people in your life who made your life better and loved you no matter what. How do you ever replace them?
Uncle Mike had been my dad’s best friend up until my dad’s death eight years ago. In fact, Uncle Mike came right over when I called him to say my dad’s breathing had changed and there he was at my dad’s bedside along with my sister and mom as my dad left this earth for heaven.
So, from that date until Tuesday, March 16 – I took up my dad’s place as best friends with Uncle Mike. We had a solid friendship before that, but, now I had the top honors and what a honor it was. He and I were buddies. And I am so glad that he knew that I loved him. I have no doubt of that.
- Uncle Mike Could Fix Anything That Life Threw His Way
I shared everything about my life with him. From an early age, he and I just clicked. As a young girl, I’d often spend time with him in his garage where he would be tinkering on some gadget. He’d be telling me about what he was inventing and how it would work and I’d tell him about school. And he always was interested. As I got older, the things I started to talk about were issues in my life. Why I fought with my dad? How come I would get anxiety? How could I be better at volleyball? I felt so safe with him telling him scary stuff in my life. He was the type of person that just by being in his presence you felt better. After I unloaded some hard issue on him, I would leave feeling full of hope. He just always made me feel loved and that I mattered. I knew that I mattered to him.
I do have a great deal of my mom and dad’s attributes, but I also have a lot of Uncle Mike in me too. The majority of my skills with tools are from him. Also, I learned a great deal of management from him as well. But, more importantly, he taught me about friendship. I can honestly say, that Uncle Mike in my 40 plus years never once said that he didn’t have time for me. He took everyone of my phone calls and listened to every question or statement I presented.
He was always there for me and my family – no questions ever asked. “No” was not in his vocabulary when it came to me or anyone for that matter. And if that wasn’t enough he had one of the best personalities out there-he was a real crack-up. He was just always bigger than life – I really wish you could have met him for if you did you would never forget him. He was a character with so many wonderful gifts.
And he was loved by all who crossed his path. He wasn’t perfect by any means. But in my life he was. I am so honored, well blessed, that God gave me this wonderful Uncle to teach me about life and friendship. He made everything seem so effortless in life as he laughed his way through it. He always could find something funny even during dark times. Laughter was his medicine. I can just hear him laughing now…there in heaven as he fills my dad in on eight years of jokes that he missed. The two best friends are together now on earth (their grave sites are near) and in heaven.
He always knew the right things to say to me. We talked about everything, except one thing. I regret that I never asked him how to handle life when he’s gone. We never had that talk because I thought he would be around for some time to come. This was a sudden death in our lives….but, God has other plans for Uncle Mike now. I bet he’s there in God’s garage, fixing the pearly gates or something else that important. It just has to be because he was important to so many others in his life and town.
I saw him a couple days before he died and we had a long talk and as usual he was interested in what I had going on. When we parted he always said these words and he did again that day “Be Good To Yourself.” And with that statement, I’d always smile and say in return “you too” – and then would add “I love you Uncle Mike.”
Those were his last words to me and they were perfect for I truly believe if we ever had that talk about what I was supposed to do when he was gone, he’d simply say “take care of yourself.”
I’ll do the best I can, but it will never be the same without Uncle Mike in my life.
Take care my dear friend. Please know that I am grateful for everything you have done for me, from fixing my cars to my house to my heart. Also, thank you for all the time you invested in me watching my volleyball games to curling matches. I will love you forever.
This post is part of a series I have produced under the Linchpin title. The Linchpin philosophy is based on Seth Godin’s best-selling book, Linchpin. Linchpins are those people who make a difference in your life. It is my hope that we all are Linchpins to others during our lifetime.