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.