One of my first managers frequently reminded us no one is irreplaceable. He would use the illustration of placing your hands in a bucket and then pulling them out.
The level of the water doesn't change much when one or two hands is removed. While I agree with him on some levels—even though I'm not quite sure it's a healthy demonstration for building team morale—I think there are ways a person can make themselves more valuable to a team—perhaps even invaluable.
Here are seven ways to make yourself invaluable to a team:
1. Be a chief encourager. Be one who helps people feel better about themselves and their contribution to the team. Be a cheerleader—positive-minded—willing to do whatever it takes to build upon what exists.
2. Support the vision and direction. Be honest about it, but be a verbal proponent of the overall objectives of the team and where things are going. Be a known team player. Have more good to say about the place than you have bad. Everything might not be wonderful—in fact many things may need changing—but, if you can't love the people with whom you work you'll have a hard time being seen as valuable by others.
3. Respect others. In the way you treat and respond to everyone on the team, be respectful. Recognize everyone is not like you. People like different things. People respond differently than you would respond. Other people's opinions and viewpoints matter.
4. Give more than required. This doesn't mean you have to work more hours. It might. But it might mean you work smarter than everyone else. Plan your day better. Be better at setting goals and objectives. Hold yourself accountable.
5. Be an information hub. Be well-read and share what you learn. Information is king. Be the king of it. Without being obnoxious—of course.
6. Celebrate other people's success. Send notes or encouragement. Brag on someone else. Tell others what you admire about them. Without being creepy, of course.
7. Be a good listener. Everyone loves the person they can go to and know they won't just be heard but listened to. A good person to bounce ideas off of is invaluable to the team. Then keep every confidence.
What other ways do you know of to make oneself valuable to a team?
Ron Edmondson is the lead pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky. For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.
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