Cross-Train for Success
So, those HBR guys behind the cross-training idea for becoming indispensable do have some good ideas and you can do the same to become indispensable yourself. If you seem to receive the same old raise at every performance appraisal or your name doesn’t come up as a key player within your company’s management team, you are not indispensable, even if you’re doing everything right.
It is possible to cross-train for success by stepping back and reassessing. First, ask yourself some tough questions: Are you too honest? Are you too strict? Are you too demanding? Are you too lackadaisical when it comes to decision making? Do you trust too much or are you too autocratic?
Skip the cross-training at the gym and instead network and watch your peers closely—you can learn a lot from those who excel at greater levels than you. No one wants to be just a good project leader and everyone strives for great leadership skills, but you won’t achieve them if you don’t recognize what you’re doing (or not doing) first.
Don’t be shy; ask what’s working for other leaders. Better yet, get permission to get feedback from their successful teams and adapt those suggestions into your work habits and leadership methods.
Stop being average and become indispensable because today’s world is fast-moving and fierce, and if you don’t act now, you will find someone hot on your trail, ready to pass you over. Before you throw in the towel and say this path isn’t for you, take a look at that over-achiever hot on your trail. Do they have fire in their eyes, and if so where’s that fire coming from? It’s probably not experience because they’re most likely new to leadership. What it probably is shouldn’t be a surprise to you—it’s that strong desire you once had, have lost and are now finding hard to regain.