Ainsley Hayes: Mr. Tribbey? I’d like to do well on this, my first assignment. Any advice you could give me that might point me the way of success would be, by me, appreciated.
Lionel Tribbey: Well, not speaking in iambic pentameter might be a step in the right direction.
—The West Wing, “And It’s Surely To Their Credit” (11/1/00)
The other day I was in a Borders Express store in White Marsh. I knew that at some point soon I’d end up waiting for Wife and I wanted to have something to read. As I wandered the store looking for inspiration and wishing I’d brought my Kindle, which already has a dozen books I haven’t read yet, I came across this book:
Mr. Godin’s definition of a linchpin is a person who is indispensible. He argues that the current business model in the world is outdated and fading fast, and not being a linchpin is essentially career suicide.
This is not a typical business/marketing book. With most of those, whatever you read will make sense as you read it, but nearly all of it will be gone from your head immediately afterward. Ninety percent of what Godin says in this book is phrased as common sense. And yet, you still have these moments of “Ah Ha!” epiphany as you read the book, moments that stay with you and which inform the way that you approach your job. Even if it’s not specifically “business” as such (as mine is), the idea of breaking some of the molds, making your own rules (especially in their absence) and turning your work into a kind of art form is liberating.
I’m still only about halfway through the book, but I already want to have Godin’s babies, it’s that good. It’s on Amazon.com for $13.99, or you can get the Kindle edition for 9.99. Or you can be a schmuck like me and plunk down twenty-five bucks for it because you’re in the brick-and-mortar store. But you know what? It was worth it.