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Book Review: Linchpin: Are you indespensible? by Seth Godin

December 5th, 2010 @ 12:07 GMT by Richard Stowey


In the latest of Seth Godin’s books, Linchpin, he attempts to explain a new view on the world of work involving emotional labour, giving gifts, creating art and drawing maps. And it’s extremely interesting and thought prevoking!

Since reading Tribes by Seth Godin last year, I bought Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? as soon as it became available. After getting into motorcycling over the summer, with my Honda CB600F, the train journey to read books was no longer there. So recently, as the leaves have started to fall, I have had more time to finish off those books I meant to!

Seth Godin is very good at changing the way you think. Sometimes it takes a whole book and sometimes it can be done in a blog post. Linchpin is about the changing world of work, how you can make yourself indispensable, and drive your career and create a remarkable future. Although this message could have been communicated in one or two blog posts, it takes the whole book to make sense of it and drive the message home.

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future explains the changing world of work. How we have reached the limit of manufacturing and production line optimisation. Things can no longer be made quicker, cheaper and faster. This means that there is an opportunity to make things better, with a higher quality and more value.

We’re also moving away from the factory style management vs. worker structure and mentality. Companies aren’t as structured as they once were, and there is more knowledge and opportunity available to anyone wherever they are in the company. As opposed to only the management knowing what they know, everyone now has access to the same knowledge and information to make decisions possible.

So, this takes us into Seth’s new world of work. Where the way to be noticed, make important changes, learn more and prove your advantage to your employer is effectively to fight the cheaper, faster, less=more way of working. This brings us to becoming an artist, giving gifts, creating your own direction, and partly ignoring the rules which have been set out by the world before us.

Step away from fitting in, it’s about standing out. Stop following orders, find your own way through the mess. Take control of what you do through informed choices, giving more than just time in return for money.

There are a number of key ideas which are set up well and communicated excellently, in the typical Seth Godin way. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? How to Drive Your Career and Create a Remarkable Future is an excellent way to kick start a new way of thinking, help you realise and think about how you work and how much you give to other people through your work. I would definitely recommend reading Linchpin, and find out more about the changing world.

There is also an excellent bibliography in the back of the book which is all to tempting to wade through and purchase.