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How to Make Yourself Indispensable

How to Make Yourself Indispensable

(Note – this is a 2017 summer addition ‘best of the best’ blog from the archive.)

In today’s outsourcing, downsizing, volatile economy, people are more worried than ever about losing their job, no matter the position they hold.

Here is one way to make it less likely you will lose your job and even if you do, this practice will greatly help you move on to your next job or a freelance career.

The late, great personal development expert, Zig Zigular, famously said You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

Helping others get what they wantToo often, we find ourselves living in the world of ME, with constant thoughts of how is this going to help ME, what have they done for ME, and I need to cover my ass so it doesn’t affect ME.

Well, I am here to tell you, you are not as important as you want to believe. So, stop worrying about ME and focus on how you can help others.

By shifting your thoughts and subsequent actions to always look for a way to help others, you start making yourself indispensable. You can even learn a great deal along the way.

By constantly helping those above you get what they want, they will directly see the value you offer and become an advocate for you, potentially defending your position when the next downsizing rotation comes around. You are providing them support in order to earn your way up. This is fine because you are earning it!

Think of everything you do for others as an investment in your personal development. Clear a path for those above you to create an eventual path for yourself.

How to Help

Helping others get what they wantHow you help will be unique to your relationship with the people above you in the organization, but I am not talking about getting their coffee each morning, although it can’t hurt to do so from time to time.

Two of the best ways to offer support is to make their stresses go away and make them look good in front of their peers and supervisors.

If their stressors are not obvious, ask them (or their assistant) what keeps them awake at night. You may be surprised what the answer is. Once you know, do whatever you can to help them alleviate that stress.

For example, you may think giving a presentation on the latest project update that isn’t going so well may be their biggest stressor but it’s actually coming up with child care as their wife is about to head back to work.

As for making them (and yourself) look good, the best way to do this is to by consistently exceed the expectations of your role. I couldn’t find who first said this quote but I firmly believe, Your success in life will be in direct proportion to what you do after you’ve done what you’re expected to do.”

No matter where you are or what you are doing, no matter what your situation in life or what has happened to you in the past, there are really no limits on what you can accomplish in the future if you just help others get what they want. When you begin to practice the principles, you will find yourself becoming a far more influential and indispensable person with everyone you meet, and everywhere you go.

Action: The next time you’re in a meeting, focus on discerning the other person’s needs rather than your own.


Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author and Ironman competitor.

Click here to learn more about how Shawn can help your organization.

© 2017 Shawn Stratton. All rights reserved