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How to Become a Linchpin & What to Do Once You Are One: Interview with Leah Crawford

September 29, 2021 in

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Belle Curve is brought to you by HigherEchelon, Inc. – find HigherEchelon at higherechelon.com and on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.

Linchpins: We’ve likely all known and worked with one before. This is the person in your company or volunteer organization who is indispensable. It’s the person who leads whether they have a title or not. The person who creates so much value that they alone are worth five or more typical employees.

According to Seth Godin, “The linchpin is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create, and make things happen. Every worthwhile institution has indispensable people who make differences like these.”

It is more important than ever to be valuable, perhaps even indispensable, in the current environment. A 2020 World Economic Forum report and 2021 research by McKinsey and Company predict that due to the acceleration of automation brought on by the pandemic:

  • 85 million jobs will be displaced by 2025
  • 97 million new jobs will be created by 2025
  • 40% of jobs that exist today will not exist in 10 years
  • 375 million people may need to switch occupations and learn new skills

But on the other hand, there is currently a shortage of talent. Companies are scrambling to find ways to attract and retain great workers, many of whom are struggling with burnout. Linchpins may be struggling with work-life balance and boundaries.

How does someone be indispensable but do so in a sustainable way?

In this episode, we interview Leah Crawford, a true linchpin who offers her top 4 dos and don’ts for becoming a linchpin and how to manage things once you are one.

Leah Crawford is HigherEchelon’s Director of Operational Effectiveness and Analytics and is a passionate leader within the organization. Leah’s career began in economic consulting after receiving her masters in economics from the University of Alabama. Since that time, she has developed into a respected business leader becoming the youngest member of the key leadership team at HigherEchelon. Leah’s affinity for improvement, analytics, and learning have propelled her career and make her an invaluable player within the organization.

Leah’s Top Tips Discussed:

  1. DO: Raise Your Hand. DON’T: Forget to Lower Your Hand.
  2. DO: Constantly Learn. DON’T: Forget to Learn in Areas Where You Are Passionate.
  3. DO: Offer Up Good Ideas. DON’T: Become a Bottleneck.
  4. DO: Internally Network. DON’T: Forget to Externally Network.

Resources Mentioned:

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin

World Economic Forum: Recession and Automation Changes Our Future of Work, But There are Jobs Coming, Report Says

McKinsey & Company: Building workforce skills at scale to thrive during-and after-the COVID-19 crisis

Belle Curve Podcast is sponsored by HigherEchelon, Inc. and co-hosted by Rachel Bryars, Mary Scott Hunter, and Liz Beshears