Photo by pickinjim

Photo by pickinjim

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Over the last few decades businesses have become all about lowering costs. Finding cheaper materials, cheaper processes, and cheaper labor. Because of this, many jobs have been shipped overseas or automated. Job security has become a thing of the past, and “keep your head down and work” is no longer effective. So what can we do to protect our jobs and make ourselves more happy at work?

According to Seth Godin, become the “linchpin”, the person who is indispensable at work and holds everything together. Not by just being more efficient, which is also good, but by being more creative and human, an artist. A restaurant can replace a good server without too much trouble. But it is much more difficult for them to replace a server who is so friendly and helpful that customers actually come because of her.  She becomes the linchpin, holding the customers and the restaurant together.

If you just follow rules and do your job, you are likely to get bored. You are also likely to get replaced if your job can be done somewhere else for cheaper. But by going beyond your job duties and creating, making things better, and doing work that matters, you become irreplaceable to the company. You can do the work and solve the problems that no one else can.

In classic Seth Godin style, the Linchpin is short and sweet.  He makes his argument, gives examples, and then sets you on you way to go try it out. There isn’t a lot of fluff.

What you do get is a lot of emotion. He really believes in the ideas in the book. In fact, he begs that you put these methods to use.

A great read with a lot of great advice.