Feeling indispensable to your organization is a great combination of exhilaration and security. But in today's workplace, where more and more of us feel disposable, what does it take to make yourself indispensable?
It starts with making a great name for yourself--communicating to those around you that you have the attributes of a successful person.
But more important, it requires that you visibly commit yourself to making a difference to your company, your team, your business--even your family and friends. It always turns out to be bigger than just you. But it always begins with you.
Here are some ways to position yourself as an indispensable member of any team:
1. Help others without expecting much in return. Learn to take pleasure in watching others succeed.
2. Dedicate yourself to high standards. Bring your best to everything you do, and constantly raise the bar for yourself.
3. Do what you say you will do. Don't make commitments you cannot keep. Do what you say you will do and sometimes do more.
4. Be of value to others. Be the one people reach out to -- the one from whom people seek mentorship and coaching, information, and solutions.
5. Be open and adaptable. Learn to embrace change and help others see the benefits of moving with the tides.
6. Be honest. Whether it's a mistake, a missed deadline, or a bad judgment call, communicate openly and work hard to find good solutions to any problems you may have caused. Never engage in blame-placing.
7. Work hard and go the extra mile. People who are indispensable usually expand their role by going beyond their scope. Whatever their job is, they make a point of helping others and reaching out.
8. Learn more by being more. Do everything you can to make more of yourself. Volunteer for tasks outside your usual role; be eager to step up and take on more than your share. Do it with openness and effectiveness and a willing heart and mind, and it will make you invaluable.
9. Learn from every failure and every mistake. However bad the experience, learn to look at it and grow from it.
10. Focus on inclusion and collaboration. Learn to become the person who thrives on working with others.
11. Acknowledge and appreciate those around you. There's no surer way to gain respect then to acknowledge and appreciate those around you.
12. Stay positive. It's easy to become so focused on the finish line that you fail to enjoy the journey. Be positive and a joy to be around as you're building your success.
Remember, the people who go around saying they're indispensable never really are. Being indispensable doesn't come from ego but from what others think of you as you help them succeed.