"Indispensable! Becoming The Obvious Choice In Business" by David Cottrell

This book was recommended to me by my management professor who worked for IBM for over 25 years.

Written by bestselling author David Cottrell and sales guru Robert Nix, Indispensable! Becoming The Obvious Choice In Business And Life, teaches how to project strength, smarts, competence and leadership.

The book begins with a quote from Winston Churchill.

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The authors wrote this book in hopes of helping readers prepare for their finest hour and thus becoming indispensable.

Here are 7 important lessons from Indispensable! Becoming The Obvious Choice In Business And Life:


1)    Becoming Indispensable Begins Now

Most people believe that managers don’t start evaluating employees until a new position opens. They believe that once a new position opens, then they’ll start working hard. But this is mindset is incorrect.


“You see, you are interviewing and competing today and tomorrow and the next week too” (Pg ix)


Employees are assessed for new opportunities long before a new position is announced. If you only start working hard when a new position opens, it may already be too late. Accept the mindset that every day you are being evaluated.



2)    Visualize Yourself Being Better

Ask yourself, what do I want? Is it a promotion or a new position at a different company? Find someone who has the position you want and observe them. Learn how they look, act and speak.


“Beginning today, act on your positive vision and begin separating yourself from your competition” (Pg 10)


Think about how successful individuals interact with others. Maintain a positive and dynamic attitude and start visualizing yourself incorporating changes in your life.



3)    Don’t Make Excuses

No one has a perfect life or an easy path to becoming indispensable. There will always be bumps and roadblocks. The key is to not make excuses.


“Franklin D. Roosevelt was paralyzed, Beethoven was deaf, Stevie Wonder was born blind, and John McCain was an injured prisoner of war for over five years” (Pg 18)


If you’re facing a difficult situation, research individuals who have been in similar positions and learn how they overcame their problems.



4)    Be The Best You Can Be

Everyday try being the best that you can be. Being better requires you to identify weaknesses and areas of improvement and deal with them.


“It is better to understand your weaknesses, acknowledge them, and deal with them than it is to mask them” (Pg 19)


First, admit any weaknesses or areas that might need improvement. This could be anything from lacking a skill like coding to constantly being late to work. Identify possible solutions; in this example, it could be taking an evening coding class or buying a better alarm clock. If you need extra help, seek it. Ask a fellow colleague, mentor or career coach. 

Authors David Cottrell and Robert Nix.

Authors David Cottrell and Robert Nix.

5)    Take Action And Set Goals

We’ve all heard how important it is to set goals yet most people don’t do it. Some feel it isn’t necessary or they expect to fail so they don’t bother writing it down. Now’s the time to change that.


“Writing down your goals will clarify what you are trying to accomplish. It marks the beginning of your commitment to accomplishing those goals” (Pg 22)


Do not fall into the trap of believe you don’t need to write down your goals. To become indispensable requires you to have specific and measurable goals. They give you direction and provide confidence and momentum when you accomplish a goal.



6)    Become A Great Listener

A key skill to becoming indispensable, is making connections with people. Connecting begins with listening.


“Listening effectively is not easy. It requires three things that most people lack: time, patience, and concentration” (Pg 67)


Take the time to have meaningful conversations and let the other person do most of the talking while you listen. Be patient and wait for your turn to respond. Concentrate on what the person is saying and engage by asking thoughtful questions. The speaker will be delighted to have your complete attention and fascination.



7)    Become A Great Speaker

Now that you’ve learned how to be a great listener, it is time to become a great speaker. The hardest part of becoming a great speaker, is being able to give public speeches.


“Speaking to groups–­of two or three or even a roomful­­–is required for advancement in almost any industry” (Pg 73)


Politicians, CEOs, and other successful individuals all know how to speak in public. Public speaking is a required skill for people who wish to become indispensable. With effort and practice, you can improve your verbal communication skills and become a great speaker.



These are just a few of the lessons learned from the book Indispensable. If you’re interested in learning more, click the link below.