Today I want to lead with a baseball story that took place over 15 years ago.

The Colorado Rockies had just re-signed a former player and asked for his input. This player had enjoyed a sixteen-year career with six different major league teams which meant that he had been a teammate of hundreds of different players. 

Before jumping into that year’s free agency market, the Rockies organization was looking at potential players to sign to their roster. Thus, the insights they received from the former player could prove invaluable to them in the process. 

“The most indispensable player in this year’s market will be Jamey Carroll. If we don’t get anyone else, we need to get Jamey,” he said.

The folks in that meeting were shocked. Jamey was a 5-foot-9 inch, 170-pound middle infielder who had a batted .251 with no home runs and three stolen bases the prior season. 

So, what was it about Jamey that caused this player to double down on his advice? 

“He makes everyone around him better. He does the little baseball things, like hitting behind runners, bunting, and other personal sacrifices that won’t show up in box scores, but in the process everyone around him rises to a higher level. He’s the best teammate I have ever had.”

Mark French, Jr.

Indispensable is a word that best describes what this previous podcast guest, Mark French, Jr. had become to the Texas A&M Men’s Basketball program over the course of his four years there. Sound simple enough, but his story is truly quite remarkable.

After a high school career which saw him surpass 1,200 points, 440 assists, and 120 steals and culminated with a 2016 TAPPS State Championship at Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, TX Mark decided to walk-on at Texas A&M.

In his third season he earned a scholarship under Head Coach Billy Kennedy and all of his hard work seemed to be paying off. 

Then, Coach Kennedy was fired, and Buzz Williams was brought in to replace him. 

Mark was literally starting over as he once again was a walk-on. 

Battling through injuries and the frustration of being back at square one, Mark dug into the process and found a way to be invaluable without being most valuable. Then on January 9th 2020, Mark was rewarded by Buzz and his staff with an athletic scholarship for the spring semester. Here is a video of Mark being surprised with the scholarship in a team meeting. Buzz style….I love it!

On this episode of The Athletics of Business podcast I ask Mark what the key was to him being invaluable without being most valuable which led him to being indispensable and he gave me his three keys:

  • Be a tireless worker
  • Always be helping others
  • Stay humble

So now let me ask you… Are you indispensable? Are you willing to be selfless and do what it takes to raise those around you? Are you a great teammate, office mate, or business partner? 

Have you ever sat down to really think about what you need to do in order to make yourself indispensable?

Sit down and write a list of what it is about you that could absolutely not be replaced or replicated? Can you do more of that?

Next, take time to be honest with yourself about what is missing in your “game.” What else are you capable of doing (something you can control) that can make you indispensable? 

Finally, who on your team is indispensable and are you utilizing them to the best of your ability? 

Are you doing the best you can with what you have to become the best you are capable of becoming?

This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.