Indispensable leaders are those who make employees better, drive revenue, and promote then maintain a sense of optimism around the office. They understand that each day of leading is a challenge and embrace the hurdles they encounter rather than avoiding or ignoring obstacles. These are the individuals who accept full responsibility for the performance of their people. They embrace the fact that the buck stops with them.

Most importantly, indispensable leaders leverage their influence, knowledge, and experience in order to make the companies they work for win. They share an unwillingness to accept defeat and as a result, they figure out what must be done in order to achieve uncanny monetary improvements.

Below, you’ll find a few key tactics to implement that will not only propel you to the next level of leadership, but that will also make you invaluable and indispensable to any company.

Remember, the more important a job applicant is to their prospective company, the more options they have upon being recruited for other jobs.

The importance of becoming indispensable:

Personal success without leadership brings only limited effectiveness. Without leadership ability, a person’s impact is only a fraction of what it could be with strong management.

When average leaders leave an organization, it is an annoyance to the company. HR has to take significant time and energy to find a replacement and people around the office may have to take on extra responsibility.

However, losing a non-essential leader does not hinder bigger-picture growth. The more difficult you are to replace, the easier it is to negotiate raises, start entrepreneurial ventures within the company, and gain the respect of your subordinates, bosses, and clients.

4 questions for quantifying how indispensable you are:

Prior to requesting a promotion, asking for a raise, or leveraging another job offer, you have to gauge how crucial you are to the company’s success.

For measurement purposes, there are a few crucial questions.  Be honest with yourself.  Where there’s room for improvement, work on your skills, work ethic, and sense of character: the greater the consequences for the company, the greater your leverage:

  1. Are employees or clients likely to leave if you depart?
  2. How much disorganization would result from your leaving the company?
  3. How much would morale suffer?  A leader’s mood, for lack of a better word, is catching.
  4. How long would it take to replace you?

5 steps for becoming an indispensable leader at your organization:

  1. Create a unified vision among your subordinates.  A team doesn’t win the championship if their players aren’t working from the same page of the playbook.  Getting everyone unified will allow you to become a key part of the company, as the organization risks losing clients, employees, and morale if you leave.
  2. Develop a good relationship with those under you.  People want to go along with those whom they get along with.  Build trust by being honest and authentic.
  3. Be cognizant of market changes.  Really strong leaders have a special capacity to anticipate the radically unexpected.  Start to be cognizant of the moves made by your competitors and be aware of new entrants and threats to the industry.
  4. Companies live and die by their ability to alter business strategies with changing market conditions.  Often, the individual who can do this is worth their weight in gold (or, more literally, formerly-gold-backed currency) to the company.
  5. Surround yourself with people better and smarter than you are. A good leader has the courage to surround themselves with people better than themselves in different respects, in order to learn from those people.
  6. Cultivate heavy duty resilience in yourself.  Every leader makes mistakes; every leader stumbles and falls.  Indispensable leaders learn from mishaps, regroup, then get going with a renewed speed, conviction, and confidence.

See it, believe It, make it happen:

Work on improving yourself before you attempt to improve others.  Find a job that you are passionate about and an industry you are happy with.  Know where your time goes.

Remember, becoming an integral part of a company will not only provide you with a happier, more lucrative career, but it will also foster self-confidence and a sense of well-being.

About Ken Sundheim

Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement, a sales and marketing executive search firm based out of New York City. He is also a writer for Forbes. Follow Ken on Twitter @Ken_Sundheim.

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