Linchpin: Are You Indispensable by Seth Godin (2010)

Arguably, the book is a few years old now, but Godin is just so persuasive and, dare I say it, timeless that I had to give him my first book recommendation.

Forget what you’ve got pictured in your head about business books. Godin writes like people speak. He’s approachable, humorous, sarcastic, and witty. Linchpin tells the story of the new wunderkind worker and the new work culture. He challenges the reader to think about how you view your relationship with your job.

Are you an artisan with skills and expertise, taking pride in your craft? Or are you a day labourer, trading precious non-refundable hours of your life for cash? Part criticism of current corporate culture and part reflection on the meaning and value of work, Godin intersperses examples of real employees from his local convenience store to high level executives with insightful commentary to spur all of us to stop being cogs in the machine, and start being linchpins.

This book earned my top choice this month because it made me think. Work has changed. Corporate culture has changed. To progress, we need to see opportunities where they don’t yet exist, and take a risk to make them happen. Linchpin is about intrapreneurship, deriving satisfaction from the contributions you are making, using your skills and innate qualities, connecting with customers, stakeholders and coworkers. It isn’t about what job title you hold, your pay grade, or your educational background. This book is about harnessing your passion for whatever it is that you do, and doing it really well, and that’s a sentiment I can get behind.