two-sided coin

The Two Sides of the “Let’s Become Indispensable” Coin

A talk I heard this past weekend entitled “Tying it all together to become indispensable” triggered some thoughts. First off, the speaker outlined a beautiful process for learning something relevant quickly and deeply – and then APPLYING it immediately. Furthermore, I think there are two sides to the “Let’s Become Indispensable” coin.


This past weekend, I had the pleasure to attend a Toastmasters conference by a District 25 in the DFW area (Dallas/Ft. Worth). The program was entitled “Becoming the one.” Today, I’d like to tell you about a speaker who spoke there twice as a keynote and during an education session. 

The title of the education session was “Tying it all together to become indispensable.” There are two things I would like to tell you about.

  1. The first one is that he came up with a beautiful process that I like quite a lot:
    1. Find out where there is some tension in your life. “Paying attention to the tension,” he said. Very catchy. From that, pick an area that you want to improve on. 
    2. Then dig in deep and find one or two, preferably two, thought leaders in that area. Consider finding two that are not entirely in alignment with each other and bring a different perspective on the subject – if that is appropriate for the subject at hand. 
    3. Spend maybe a couple of weeks, like a sprint, digging deep into that subject. Immerse yourself in the knowledge about that particular area that you’ve chosen. 
    4. Then cut it off and step into action. Basically, now that you’ve gotten quality information, build a community of quality people who want to support you with that subject. For example, if it’s your health, find people who also want to improve their health Step into action.
    5. I think that’s a beautiful process. 
  2. The second thing I want to talk to you about is the premise that he offered, which caught my attention. You know by now that the word “indispensable” is one that I have an opinion about.
    1. In the old school of thinking, the word “indispensable” often means “please don’t get rid of me.” Therefore, I’m going to hold onto some knowledge that I have, and only I have, so that you will always need me. A little bit of Rey’s talk sounded like it was going a bit in that direction. 
    2. I raised the question, “What do you mean with “indispensable”? I suggested that there are two sides to that “let’s be indispensable” coin. Rey acknowledged that that was an excellent point.
      1. The first side is driven by fear. Please don’t get rid of me. 
      2. The other side of the coin is something much more empowering. You are not necessarily indispensable because you have unique knowledge you’re dishing out daily. But what makes you essential in the new model is that you are able and willing to acquire new knowledge and new wisdom. You aggregate and digest it and then share it. That’s another way of becoming indispensable: Aggregating and then sharing. Being continuously curious and continuously learning. Constantly applying the beautiful process, Rey was sharing with us. 

Those are the two things that I want to share with you because I thought that was a phenomenal talk.

I’m Curious

How indispensable do you feel you are, and why?


  1. You have taught me well… I do not wish to be indispensable. No matter how hard it is – we have to shed that “attraction”. Only then can we grow.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Thank you! It is great to remind each other of this, too!

  2. Jacquelyn Martin on at

    You have opinions? 😉
    I happen to like both of your takes on being indispensable. Hoarding knowledge is selfish and counter productive in most instances. Learning, applying and getting in community to take what you learn to the next level is “brilliant”.
    I am actively working to share my knowledge and leave my mark on the community.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      I know, it is shocking to hear that I have opinions! Thank you for all you do!

  3. Brett Augustine on at

    That was really good stuff. Thank you for sharing that. Sounds like it was a good conference. After being in a career job in a corporate setting for over 30 years, only to see many great people be replaced by an asset management company’s team. It makes me remember how bad I felt in that moment. This would have been awesome to hear then. So I will share this with others my age that helped to build companies and then get notice that they are no longer needed, or their job is being fazed out. Reminding us to be indispensable by being adaptable and willing to acquire new knowledge and new wisdom.

    • Stephie Althouse on at

      Thank you so much, Brett. Thank you for sharing! Any company telling you they don’t need you anymore does not deserve you!
      You are such a bright light and bring a smile and wisdom to everyone you meet.