Chad Schneider

On being indispensable

02.15.2010 by Chad Schneider

How have you made yourself indispensible to your boss, your company, your clients? In the business of life, you can consider each a customer. As customers, don’t they deserve your very best work product?

In the vast majority of businesses, the best way to sell more widgets, expand your client sales, or just move up at your company is to exceed expectations. As an auto mechanic, you can comp one of your regular customers coming in to get a used car checked out. After all, you’ll probably be servicing that car for years. If you’re a mortgage agent, you can treat your customers with respect instead of assuming they’re trying to somehow run off to Fiji with your money. If you’re an engineer, you can forego the shortcut and wow them with a creative solution that took a little more mental effort to design but saved a bunch of money. Can you make every customer feel special?

Making customers feel special isn’t always about reducing the price or cutting into the bottom line. That’s subtraction. What can you do to please your customers by addition? You can add value – add responsiveness, add quality, add caring and concern. The more you care about your customers and help them solve their problems, the more they will come back to you.

What we want, what we need, what we must have are indispensable human beings. We need original thinkers, provocateurs, and people who care. We need marketers who can lead, salespeople able to risk making a human connection, passionate change makers willing to be shunned if it is necessary for them to make a point. Every organization needs a linchpin, the one person who can bring it together and make a difference. Some organizations haven’t realized this yet, or haven’t articulated it, but we need artists.

Artists are people with a genius for finding a new answer, a new connection, a new way of getting things done.

That would be you.

Seth Godin, “Linchpin

In his new book, Seth Godin has articulated what it means to be the “linchpin” of an organization. It’s inspiring, and perhaps his best work to date.

Maybe you’ve never thought about the value you bring to your office when you figure out how to replace the fax toner or help a client translate a CAD model when their project manager is on vacation. Maybe you’ll see those small tasks as opportunities instead of wasted time. Maybe you’ll make yourself indispensable.

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