3Q Book Review: Linchpin

April 9, 2010

I really hate opening a blog post and seeing that it’s five pages long, 7 point font, dense text. Even if the author is awesome, it’s asking me to make a relatively big commitment. I’ll try not to be part of the problem … from now on, I’m going to do any book reviews in three questions:

  • What’s the point?
  • How was it?
  • Who should read it?

I’ll start the latest from Seth Godin, Linchpin.

What’s the point? The nature of the workplace is changing. If what you do is effectively a commodity, sooner or later you will be replaced. The people who won’t be replaced (the linchpins) are the ones create, invest emotional labor, who really affect the people around them (positively). The book gives an argument for the validity of this theory (a few too many pages in fact) and talks about how to be a linchpin.

How was it? Very good. As a recruiter and middle manager, I totally agree … the people I value most in the workplace are linchpins by his definition. One of my favorite bits of the book: the art vs. the job. The art is the good stuff. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s risky. The job is easy, it’s safe, you know how to do it. The part of you that craves safety will fill your day with the job, preventing you from taking the risk of doing the art. So true …

Who should read it? Pretty much anyone in the workforce. It really doesn’t matter if you’re a software developer or a barista, the lessons apply.