In his latest book, Seth Godin goes to great lengths to describe and illustrate through examples the indispensable people he calls "linchpins." He argues rightly that although employers seem to want (and even emotionally prefer) replaceable "cogs" which can be used and discarded at will, they actually NEED people willing to do emotional work.
Most people approach a job—whether employed or self-employed—as an assignment. "I'm here, what do you want me to do?" This is reactionary.
Being indispensable is about being proactive. It's about seeing something that is not being done, and doing it. It's about finding your fit.
These gaps are often seen and best filled by those who stand to gain the most by it. Hence, necessity is the mother of invention.
Rather than rapidly building an organization of arguably empty people, why not begin with solid building blocks? Why not build an organization around linchpins, rather than hoping they appear?
While anyone can be a bolt, a nut, a crosspiece; more integral to an automobile is an engine, a transmission, a brake system. An organization which seeks out those who fill a large place can always find the miscellaneous parts later.
FEATURED MEDIA: Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? - Like his earlier books, Linchpin is broken down into short blog-length sections. This makes it an easy and fun read—and it is filled to the gills with great examples and clear, plain language.