It’s been an exciting season for me, with plenty of travel to visit clients, deliver speeches, and engage in professional development (as you’ve heard me say, we can never stop gathering new insights and developing innovative approaches, getting exponentially better at what we do).
On the final day of some recent travels, I packed my bags as I prepared to leave the hotel. I did the usual hotel check: glanced under the bed for errant socks, opened all the drawers, searched the closet. You get the idea. Everything was in order. I had my laptop, iPhone, AirPods, suitcase, chargers, car keys… I was good to go!
But when I arrived home that evening, I discovered my AirPods case was empty. I had inadvertently left my tiny, white AirPods resting unnoticed on the white sheets of the hotel bed! And while I recovered them with a call to the hotel (amazingly, they hadn’t been run through the hotel wash), I realized that these little earbuds had become indispensable to me.
And that got me thinking: What makes a business leader indispensable? In this age of mergers and acquisitions, integrations and reorganizations, what must a talented executive do to ensure an ongoing position of influence regardless of the changing tides?
Here are three sure ways to become indispensable to your organization:
1. Never stop learning. Don’t expect past success to guarantee your future or that of your organization. Get out to industry events. Take a course in Artificial Intelligence. Retain the best advisors and seek out mentors who will accelerate your success in current and potential roles. Get better each and every day.
2. Put others first. Here’s something you may have observed about human nature. In uncertain times, people hunker down to ensure their own safety. In an organization, this may come across as political posturing or aggressive competition for the best opportunities. But the fact is this: when you show that you care about the best interests of your team members, your customers, and the company, you show up as a mature leader with endless potential. It is a win for all involved.
3. Prioritize your relationships. Dedicate plenty of time to connect with people throughout the organization: your manager, board, cross-functional colleagues and dotted line superiors, and don’t neglect employees on the front line. Make sure you are taking interest in others. Let them see who you are and what you bring. Share your view of the future, talk strategy, gather and share insights on how to improve process. It’s never a waste of time to thoughtfully grow your network, increase visibility, build trust, and develop insights to bring your company to a brighter and more successful future.
For more information on what the best leaders do well read: Seven Traits of Success: What Today’s Most Successful CEOs Do Best
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