Becoming Indispensable

The following are some ways to “become indispensable” according to Dr. Wayne Boss and myself. These concepts were collected by him and later recalled by yours truly. If you classify yourself as an entrepreneur you might (read: will definitely) disagree with many of these points.

Seth Godin asked what it would take to become indispensable. I feel the following are some good places to start:

  • Take the unwanted job. Being an intern I can relate to this. Take on the projects that nobody else wants. Not only will you learn something and become an expert at something that nobody else wanted, you’ll demonstrate your ability to take on new (or undesired) things. This will open up many more doors in the future.
  • Go the extra mile. Make sure you’re always rending more or doing a better job than you’re being paid for. If you don’t exceed expectations then you’re most likely overpaid… and people will notice. Plus, everything above expectations is what creates your true value.
  • Work harder when unsupervised. It’s natural to work less when nobody is there to crack the whip. You should do the opposite though. One of my employers would have to travel for weeks at a time. When he’d come back I’d have a list of things accomplished while he was away. This builds trust and demonstrates your ability to manage yourself (and others). Perhaps this is one trait that makes many entrepreneurs successful.
  • Give credit to the group. There’s no need to boast all your accomplishments. Modesty is your friend. Elway has always pointed to his defensive line for his success. He always said, to some extent, that anyone could do his job if they had a line as great as his.
  • Be aware of your supervisor’s needs. If your supervisor doesn’t want to dance around the details learn to get to the point very quickly. Tools like the FIRO-B assessment really help with this. I’ll introduce a new tool next week that will apply here as well. The point is, know not only what they expect but what they need from you.
  • Make your boss look good. This goes along with the last point. I, again, can relate to this as an intern. If you do a great job which makes your boss looks good, you’re bound to be taken care of. Think about it, you do the research and all the work and find a way for the company to save a million dollars every year. You help your boss, who</p>