Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

The premise of this book is that to be as successful as you can and to be as safe as possible if / when your organisation chooses to ‘downsize’ or ‘outsource’ you need to become indispensable.  You need to become a Linchpin.

In the context of this book a linchpin in organisational terms is similar to an actual linchpin; a key component that prevents the organisation (wheel) from coming apart.  In fact in the sense Seth uses the term a linchpin goes a step further and actually drives the success of an organisation.

There are (for me anyway) two main messages from the book –

– People who are ‘linchpins’ love their work and put their best into it – this is his reference to turning your work into art.  So find a role / job / organisation where you can be challenged and love the work you do.

– Overcome your fears; How many times have you seen a way of solving a problem others missed and not mentioned it? How many times have you had an idea in a meeting and kept quiet?  Overcoming your fears and contributing your best will make you more fulfilled and of course more indispensable!

The new world of work described in books like this and Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” that is based on intellect and ideas is / will be a great place to work.  Here’s hoping we all find or create these places of work!

Overall I found this an interesting and useful book, the only downside is that it can come across as a bit too preachy / self help-ish, this is perhaps worse for us more reserved British types than our American counterparts.



Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Well my first review (well impression as I read it some time ago) is for a non IT related book, but one I think worthy of mention.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with a general interest in science, studies using actual scientific method, and especially if you are like me just generally fed up with the lies and half truths fed to us every day by so called experts.

If like me you get particularly annoyed by the preachings of people like Gillian McKieth you will definitely find this book entertaining as well as interesting as Ben Goldacre pulls no punches in highlighting the issues with their supposed research and qualifications!

The book also covers many areas backed by either incorrect or entirely false science including Homoeopathy, ‘issues’ with the MMR vaccine, and Nutritionism – highlighting just how false and at times harmful fake science can be.

The book will also provide you with great ammunition should you ever struggle with winning arguments on any of these topics with ill informed friends!

A minor downside is that I found the tone of the book to be a bit to ‘preachy’ in places, but getting past that this is a book I wholeheartedly recommend.