A month ago, my boyfriend and I unintentionally took a real estate tour of what I'd previously considered to be the scariest part of Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine. (It was a pit stop during an architecture tour.) Last week, we put a bid on our dream home. I'd like to talk about my major attitude shift, and how it coincides with a book I just devoured.
First off, the book. I've finished Seth Godin's Linchpin-- he offered advance copies to people who made a charitable contribution to the Acumen Fund. (Nice.) I ordered it because Godin has written a number of other books that relate to marketing (my field)... but this one leans much more toward self-help. It's as much about marketing as it is about teaching, piloting, plumbing, you name it.
In Linchpin, Godin talks about how people become indispensable... how they go above and beyond their jobs, their day-to-day, the expectations people put on them. I couldn't read it without thinking about OTR's Gateway Quarter and the people I've met in the past month. For instance, from Godin:
The only way to get what you're worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.
If you can be human at work (not a machine), you'll discover a passion for work you didn't know you had. When work becomes personal, your customers and coworkers are more connected and happier. And that creates more value.
After that eye-opening architecture tour, Dan and I started walking around the Gateway Quarter. What I could not help but notice was that every shop owner talked to me-- not (only) about the sale of the week, but about the neighborhood, their families, local events, you name it. It was easy to see that their shops were more than jobs to them-- there was passion and knowledge that I've never seen in the suburbs.
And as I engaged social media to connect with people, places and businesses in the area, I couldn't ignore the fact that every person I came in contact with knew almost everyone else I'd already met. Tenants connected me with developers, entrepreneurs recommended restaurants. They wave to one another in the streets and there are more tweet-ups happening than I can keep up with.
The community that is working to develop the Gateway Quarter in OTR is comprised of linchpins-- people who are overcoming the expectations of the rest of the city to create something positive and powerful. From Godin again:
Emotional labor is the hard work of making art, producing generosity, and exposing creativity. Working with a map involves both vision and the willingness to do something about what you see.
There is an astounding vision and an undeniable passion in Cincinnati's Gateway Quarter, and I can't wait to be a part of it. Furthermore, I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and seeing how I can help add to the humanity, the generosity and the creativity that sets OTR so far apart.
Gateway Quarter: http://www.gatewayquarter.com/
Seth Godin's Linchpin: Amazon link