In reading Seth Godin's Linchpin I ran across several thoughts that really resonated with me.
In the chapter "The Resistance" Seth discusses many of the ways we sabotage our own success. In the section "This Might Work" he points out that often our problem is not fear of failure, but rather success. "Consider the argument that it's just as likely you hold back out of fear that something might work." As bizarre as this may sound to some, I admit that I have sometimes found myself captive to this very fear. Change is uncomfortable, even if it is for the better.
In the chapter "The Powerful Culture of Gifts" Seth compares giving gifts without v. with the expectation of getting. One statement really hit home with me, because I have thought much the same thing myself: "Consider the the family that exchanges cash at Christmas. If everyone is giving and getting the same amount, there's not much happening, is there?" I am getting more and more uncomfortable with the "I got you something so you owe me"/"You got me something so I owe you" way of doing things.
After finishing the book, I was considering how to summarize the book. My first thought was something along the lines of 'how to be a valuable commodity to whoever your employer may be.' Then I had to laugh at myself at how totally wrong that summary was. The very fact that I would use the word 'commodity' in the description bears witness to Seth's premise that we have marginalized employees to mere cogs in a factory. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the point is to be 'invaluable' and NOT just another 'valuable commodity.'