Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Book Review: “Linchpin” by Seth Godin

Overview

There has been a lot of noise over Seth Godin's latest book, "Linchpin".
While I have not read any other of Seth's books, I have seen several of his talks online, as well as hearing him speak on some podcasts. I was very impressed with what I heard, so thought I would grab a copy of "Linchpin".

"Linchpin" discusses the problems we are facing as modern workers. The "factory age" for most of the western world is dying. Mass production can take place elsewhere at a much cheaper cost. The old model of "get a factory with a simple process and lots of cheap people to fulfil simple roles" no longer holds fast.

We are now in a time where we need a new breed of worker to have a successful business. A worker that takes their work not only to "the next level", but to their level. We need "linchpins".

Good Points

  • Delivers a much-needed message that we ALL need to hear.
  • Easy to read/follow. Lots of small, succinct paragraphs make up the chapters that deliver clear messages.
  • TONS of anecdotes that make it easier to relate to the messages being conveyed. This for me helped validate the message as well as often making me go “oh yeah, I know that person”.
  • I get the feeling Seth genuinely cares about creating Linchpins.

Possible Pain Points

Not a lot to put here, I thoroughly enjoyed the book (or I wouldn’t be recommending it!).

  • The book repeats the same messages over and over again. Now, I have to say I personally agree with the way that it has been done in the book. The messages need to be drummed into our thick skulls. We have generations of brainwashing to overcome in order to become a linchpin. However, others may disagree/perhaps find it annoying.

Content Brief

Here is a quick run-down of what the book covers (or at least the areas that stuck in my mind):

The Linchpin

What is a “Linchpin”? Why does the world need them? Why is our traditional corporate/factory process broken?

The “Lizard Brain”

What is the “Lizard Brain”? How does it affect us? Why is it trying to stop me from becoming a linchpin?

Art

How to linchpins become valuable? How do they find and create their art? What does “art” even mean? Who should we share our art with?

Environment

What environments do people have to work in now? How does that support the linchpin? How does it hinder? How can we try and work around that? How should we really define “value”?

Summary

I was really moved by this book. I couldn’t put it down once I picked it up. Seth has hit so many nails on the head it is amazing. Having completed it, I felt the following:

  • Excited about what I could be doing.
  • Energised to think about how I could do what I am already doing better.
  • Confident that I will begin actively fighting the “Lizard Brain”.
  • Keen to share the ideas/concepts in the book with others, so they can feel the same.

So, a big “thank you” to Seth for writing such a great book. Grab yourself a copy here.

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