You may not know much about Linchpins, tribes, or how to convert your work into an artistic masterpiece. It’s not something schools teach us, even though it should be.
Becoming indispensable — it’s a path that becomes narrower and rougher the farther you travel down it, because who really knows how to be indispensable?
Seth Godin does. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Gould — they did too.
Here’s the tactics I gathered from their lives and many others.
Linchpin 101 — Give Gifts
In Linchpins, Seth Godin drives a piercing point home when he teaches about tribes — how our colleagues at work are an extended part of our family; our tribe. "Tribe members are family, and we shouldn’t be charging them interest" he says, "a loan without interest is a gift. A gift brings tribe members closer together. A gift can make you indispensable."
Build a Tribe Within a Tribe
No one is an island. The more people are on your side the better. Focus on building your tribe through gift-giving and helping them succeed.
Focus on Work that Matters
When you decide to be indispensable, goals change. Instead of playing Angry Birds on your iPhone, search for work that’ll bring value to the company, especially in your boss’s eyes. Avoid busywork like you dodge the office gossip — both lead to business backsliding.
Become a Robber Baron
Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Jay Gould — we can learn a lot from those frosty-eyed titans. They were as indispensable as people can be. Learn to monopolize everything without looking like a ball hog. Key relationships, vital projects, a particular skill that no one else has — mask these monopolies by doing tasks no one wants to do, like taking out the trash, or staying late to finish a project.
Be Solution Oriented
Different brains work differently. You may be the type who focuses on building relationships and creating without an end goal in mind. Sometimes this type of person is the most indispensable bee in the hive, but no one will notice until you project a solution and see it through.
Shoulder the Weight For Your Boss
Let’s assume you have a team working under your supervision. Who do you appreciate the most? You may not even realize it, but you’ll always favor the person who takes the most stress off of your shoulders.
Add Something More (Invent Another Wheel)
Be on the constant lookout for things your organization needs. Is the communication system flawed or outdated? Propose a change and see it through. Is your company website poorly designed? Take it on yourself to perfect it in your own time, and work on its social media at the same time. Track the results so you have proof of indispensability come raise negotiations.
The key is to listen to the problems everyone complains about — especially the people who matter. And fix them. Don’t "re-invent" by taking on problems that already have solutions. Be creative and find a real problem that matters, then create a solution.
Outshine Others under the Radar
Always keep track of who does the most work and the best work. Then double what they do. Never be blatantly competitive unless you have a healthy relationship with those people.
Form a Triad
Triads are time tested, proven success-magnets. One person in a triad will always stand out — not the same person ideally, but always one; which gives the other two a benchmark to meet and surpass. Once one surpasses the leader, the baton gets passed and it starts over again. With two people, it can be easy to settle at a similar level of output and innovation. With four people and up, the tendency can be to develop even numbered clicks; pairs — and the same problems develop.
Walk the Extra Mile
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich says to "start right where you stand and apply the habit of going the extra mile by rendering more service and better service than you are now being paid for." It’s an old habit of success that’ll never die. Becoming indispensable requires this attitude.
If you enjoyed these tactics of indispensability, read on into the better half: "Outside of the Box Tactics to Become Indispensable at Work — Part 2"!
Image Source: PicturesWide
Napoleon Hill quote: Think and Grow Rich
Linchpin Resources: Seth Godin