I recommend Linchpin especially for individual contributors who currently feel like work is too much compromise and takes them away from who they are.
The central argument is that it is possible to make yourself indispensable to the business you work for or the wider market.
In it set explains how we got to the world we are in where many jobs are dull, low paid and not particularly secure.
How you can secure a future by bringing more of yourself to work rather than becoming more and more standardised.
How to push past the resistance that makes us hold back our creativity.
The first time I have ever immediately re-listened to an audiobook was this week, and the book was the linchpin. I cannot be 100% sure if this is because of the timing of when I listened to it (during the week that I was changing jobs) or if is so loaded with goodness for anyone wanting to develop their contribution to the human race that multiple listens is just what it takes.
Seth Godin writes in short sections each would be removable as a blog and maybe that is where he conceived the ideas This means when listening to it you could take it in very short sections at a time, but as a whole, it has a compounding effect.
This book changed me, especially around one particular point.
Before listening, I felt the pressure of many ‘shoulds’ in the direction of running my own business. After listening I was aware that my gameplan of being as useful as possible to my employer while incomplete was still a valid approach or at least the start of one.
How Seth gets there includes a wonderful spin through so many fields that I felt I was reeling at times.
At some level, I accepted his point simply because I was dizzy. I have decided that I like that and might try writing that way in future.
What I liked was that I immediately felt ready for action. I had a much clearer sense than ever before of how I can begin making more of a contribution.
Personally, I feel like I am passing into a phase in my 30s where contribution is more the deciding factor when I am choosing work that interests me.
I have gotten to this point from a lot of personal development programs like Tony Robbins’ and a lot of plain business books like Peter Drucker’s the effective executive.
Why Linchpin helped so much and why I am recommending is that the argument is clearly laid out. There have been several times I have tried to have this argument with colleagues who at that moment were advocating a ‘not my job’ point of view.
My answer had always been lacking something along the lines of ‘its the duty of the strong to protect the weak’ which I think I heard Michael Portillo say once and I may have knicked it. I think I even said it at the end of year review once. I do not advice that.
I was reading Linchpin at the same time as inevitable by Kevin Kelly. I found them very complimentary.
If you read it too, I am interested to hear what you did with it. What have your tried? The whole book reads like a call to action, and I am sure I can’t be the only person who felt moved to make changes.