Shrewd wisdom advises you to be indispensable at work so that you are always in demand. You can do it in two ways. Become an inevitable-middle-man or a go-to-person. Both of them take a good amount of hard work.
Middle-man-tactics include a combination of
- using the position of power, or access to the people-in-power
- holding access to key information,
- pleasing the customer so much so that they won’t let them move out of their project,
- building a follower-base through politics, power and “taking” capability and so on…
They essentially become the strong-hold. Most of them are hated privately and avoided as-much-as-possible. They also tend to attract-bad-company. In this era of instant gratification, the distance between creation and consumption of value is reducing too fast. Digital technologies promise to make it as-close-to-zero-as-possible. This potentially can eliminate middle-men to a great extent. Companies deal with these guys in different ways as well.
Go-to-persons are those who are always in the top-of-the-list of everyone around them. They do it by being
- Subject Matter Expert
- Troubleshooter, Problem Solver
- Pleasing personality to work-with, friend to everyone around
- building a fan-base through their work, craft and “giving” capability
Most of them are praised privately and recognized publicly. They become the first-choice of people in key projects and initiatives. They also tend to attract-best-people-to-work. Digital is catching up with them too. It is creating access to several people like them outside the company, on-demand and in a cost-effective way. Digital creates the illusion of abundance. Companies embrace it to insure themselves.
If you want to make people depend on you, focus on the value. 10x is the minimum value you should achieve to stay relevant and be significant. Every interaction with people around you and the customers should yield significant value to them. You need a portfolio of niches to be valuable. Use the power of digital. Build your portfolio of skills and niches that is useful to you and your company. Do the opposite of what middle-men do. Be free to work with anyone in the organization. Share key tips, ideas, and information, freely and proactively. Be a good learner and sharpen your go-to-person skills. Be found and easily accessible. Make and keep promises. This helps in making people depend on you!