Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Seriously, if you want to know why your children’s school seems to not be teaching them to think, if you want to know why you hate your job, read this book.
Our entire education system is built around creating good factory workers, who have no initiative and do what they’re told. You may sit in a call centre or push numbers into a computer all day – but it’s still a factory, think about it. Guess what – the factories are all gone or on their way, and cost-cutting means that you can’t compete with folk from other countries. The race to the cheapest is one you can’t win. The race to the most useful, caring, innovative – well, you’re competing with the cheapest, they’re going to lose.
Enter the linchpin – someone who adds value, who cares about doing a good job, who thinks about how to get things done more quickly and to a higher standard, a game changer. Your boss will employ a competent drone if no-one else is available, but would prefer a linchpin. Someone who is difficult to replace. If you don’t want to be easy to replace then read this book and follow Seth’s advice.
The latter half of the book gives a whistle-stop tour of the human brain and goes into some detail about how the “lizard brain” tends to sabotage the thinking brain and choose short term comfort over long term success. It needs to be tricked to get out of the way and allow you to succeed. Godin talks about how the lizard brain made him stop writing the book several times, because it was hard work. The paradox is the lizard brain likes comfort, but is scared of success.
Read this book if you want to escape the whole post-industrial “my job went to India” fear and find your way to a future where you enjoy what you do.
Just read it, it’s the 21st century equivalent to How to Win Friends & Influence People, (which you should read as well).
Reading this at the moment – really enjoying it, thanks for the review