Reviewed by: Glain Roberts-McCabe
The Premise: The capitalist factory-orientation towards work is fundamentally broken. There used to be two teams… management and labour. Now there is a third team: linchpins. And so begins Seth Godin’s latest thought-provoking contribution. Thanks to the industrial age, we have been trained through school and corporate systems to be a replaceable cog in the wheel. Many of us are glorified factory workers with credentials. As corporations downsize MBA’s, CGA’s, BA’s and “solid performers with 25 years tenure”, Godin’s book challenges you to think about job security differently. True security comes from being unique. And to be unique (and indispensable) you need to bring your best self to the marketplace. Linchpin explores how you can turn your “job” into “art” and enrich every interaction you make by changing people for the better. Godin dives into the internal barriers that hold us back and inspires the reader to make some bold choices about how to engage more fully in their careers. Although not a “how to” manual, Linchpin does provide a few tips on how to make yourself indispensable and – as with most of Godin’s books – gives you lots of brain candy to chew on.
The Bottom-line: I am a self-professed Seth Godin junkie. What I love about him (and other writers of this genre – Gladwell, Pink, Buckingham) is that he’s a thought provoker. Linchpin is a bit of a rambling read but filled with insights and observations about the state of today’s workplace that are worth paying attention to. Given last years economic meltdown, most people would agree that the motto for most organizations is “what have you done for me lately”. Godin encourages readers to think beyond the job description and look closely at the value they can bring to the table. Just doing your job well doesn’t cut it anymore. To ensure your job security you need to standout from the crowd, you need to become a linchpin. This book is about being brave. It’s about overcoming your fears and bringing your greatest talents to work. After reading books like this, I always wonder how many people will actually embrace the message. Books like this challenge the status quo which can make them both scary and exhilarating at the same time.
Roundtable Rating: Highly recommended for individuals who are looking to “go big” with their lives.