Book Review – Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Hi Friends,

I’m coming at you today with a long-awaited book review. Since I finished reading this stellar selection from my local bookstore, I have been itching to write a review about. This book was recommended by one of my favorite YouTubers, Alex Ikonn. I was browsing through the net to update my reading list and came across his channel. The book reviews he’s done are pretty thorough, which beats the general cookie-cutter cliff notes summary you find online.

For those of you who don’t know, I am one of those people whose passion is to buy and hoard books. Whenever I go to Barnes & Nobles or the Amazon bookstore, I cannot help but walk out with a purchase. With that being said, my shelves are adorned with new un-read books that I keep telling myself I will read one day. Since graduation though I’ve read 4 new books and the number keeps growing! I’m excited to see how many I can get through by the end of 2017. I’ll keep you posted on that goal soon 🙂

I have to be honest though, sitting in one place with a book for an extended period of time is a little intimidating to me. I always think to myself that I could be a lot more productive with my time doing some other mundane task. But, just like how we are creatures of habit, a “resolution,” I’m working on is designating time to read everyday. Like Alex explains in his videos, “it’s a toothbrush for your mind.” I take my books everywhere – to work, on roadtrips, at the airport, I even set one on my nightstand as a reminder before bed. Leaving a trail of visual cues has increased my reading efficiency by quite a bit. Give it a try the next time you set a goal! It’s all a mental game.

This month’s book review is on Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin.

The intro is bold and clearly divides the two characters that Godin will be referring to throughout the book. One such character is what he refers to as the “cog in the machine.” A common individual that makes up the bulk of the task force, is a similar face in the crowds working the assembly lines of our factories and is an individual who finds comfort in being told what to do. Godin’s book introduces the refreshing and revolutionary idea that we are all artists who’ve “traded our genius and artistry for apparent stability.” This form of stability arises from the standardization of our work force as illustrated in the quote below.

“The system we grew up with is based on a simple formula: “Do your job. Show up. Work Hard. Listen to the boss. Stick it out. Be part of the system. You’ll be rewarded.”

On the other hand, the character that Godin wants us to assume is known as the “linchpin.” A linchpin is someone who brings value to the work they do. Linchpins are masters at forming meaningful human connections and are “flexible in the face of change.”

The new American Dream: be remarkable, be generous, create art, make judgement calls, connect people and ideas.

These dichotomous characters preface the knowledge that Godin imparts on the readers later on in the book. There are 13 main chapters with mini-excerpt style chapters built into each. An easy read, but definitely worth a re-read down the road. As a business oriented book, I would recommend this to anyone who is willing to sharpen their skills as an employee or even as an entrepreneur. For a wide range of motivated audiences, Linchpin is a book that will make you question your choices and actions in whichever work field you find yourself in. It will compel you to reflect on your behaviors and their repercussions in the arena of your own workplace.

Godin elaborates on the topic of resistance that individuals feel on the job as well as in their personal lives. We are all artists at heart. Each and every one of us has unique talents, strengths and attributions that set us apart in a crowd. However, overtime we’ve evolved into robotic manual-following “cogs,” rather than creative intellectuals. This concept is touched on numerous times throughout the book and allows readers to reflect on the type of individual they want to be in the workforce.

Linchpins are the people who are hard to replace. Linchpins draw value to the establishments and organizations they are associated with. It no longer pays to have an “ABC (attendance-based compensation) attitude about your work. The people getting paid far more than you are those who are making a difference and letting their ingenuity        guide them towards success and job-satisfaction.

“The new dream isn’t about obedience, it’s about vision and engagement.”

Your choice: its crucial, now more than before that as individuals we think about the type of job we want, the type of career we want to create and the lifestyle we want to live. If you want a job where you just have to follow-instructions, be told what to do, show up and be compensated than that’s exactly what you’ll receive. On the contrary, if you want a fulfilling job, one filled with human connection, personal growth, satisfaction and an opportunity to let the hidden artist within you shine, that is exactly what you’ll receive. The choice is yours! Do you want to be a cog in an overworked machine or do you want to be a genius, an artist, an invaluable asset… a Linchpin?

Godin did an explicit job at designing the layout of this book. Short chapters packed with life-changing advice is unmatched. As opposed to other books in this genre, Godin doesn’t fluff up his content with heavy business-savy terminology. His message is clear, concise and effective.

I’d recommend this book to anyone out there who is willing to learn how to implement their innate creative strengths at the workplace. A great easy read with lasting effects! It’s a thoughtful gift to give anyone out there struggling for job satisfaction or for someone in need of an inspiring read. Share the love and knowledge, friends! Let’s be create a generation of difference makers, a generation of Linchpins.

“Leaders don’t get a map or set of rules. Living life without a map requires a different attitude. It requires you to be a linchpin.”

Happy reading, everyone! I’ll catch you all again on the next upcoming book review – When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi & Abraham Verghese.

Much love,

Ashna

XOXO