Linchpin 

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Linchpin dre baldwin dreallday.comI flew into Toronto last summer for an event and found myself on the city train. Just to check if I was going the right way, I pulled up Google Maps on my phone only to realize I hadn’t activated the international plan with my cell company.

And there was no wifi on the train. So the most valuable piece of equipment I owned, that had a ton of useful info in it, was completely useless to me.

I liked around the train and saw people with smaller phones than me, no phone at all and apparently homeless appearances who were more empowered than me at the moment: they had use of 100% of their resources. I was in a place I didn’t know, doing something I rarely do, and was unable to even use the one familiar thing I had with me.

I mean, I could still think and all – and I did make it where I was going – but it reminded me of how easily entire projects and ideas and organizations can collapse when the one thing that keeps it all running smoothly is removed, disabled or damaged.

I still have that same phone, haven’t solved that challenge yet. But when it comes to skills, I’ve always been one to diversify. I like having multiple areas I can hold my own in, different rooms in which I can carry conversations, more than one way I can provide value. So if one isn’t relevant today, I have 5 more skills to lean on.

Maybe you’re different and you want to specialize in that ONE special thing. Nothing wrong with that. Just make sure it’s always available to you, can’t be disabled or rendered irrelevant, and your opponents can’t disarm you of it. Because then you’d be naked – lost on a train in a foreign country with no data usage.

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