Be Replaceable

January 31, 2010

What?

I thought the idea was to become so important and integral in your position that you are relied on?  I thought the idea was to be the fountain of knowledge?  Become the ‘Go-To’ person?  I thought I had to be irreplaceable?

But…

If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

So –

Do become all those things mentioned above.  Definately.  You’ll show your talent, your skills and your importance to the organisation.  Here’s the thing though.  Don’t retain that knowledge.  Pass it on.  This can be tricky to older people within your team, but I’ve dealt with that in a previous post.  So in addition to being the subject matter expert (SME?), you’ll also show you have the ability to teach and communicate to your team.

Generally, it’s also important to realise that if you learnt it, it’s possible for others to learn it.  It may take longer, it may cost more etc etc but it can be done.  This blog entry shows the difference between some tangible work knowledge that you may think you’re unique in knowing and the intangible.

Have the knowledge.  But pass it on.  Then learn something new.  Keep on advancing.

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2 Responses to “Be Replaceable”

  1. Lee said

    This is a really interesting post. The title suggests that “you shouldn’t be all you can be in you role” but you have taken the approach that all employees should give 100% then pass on what they know. great insight.

  2. That’s a great way of explaining the importance of teaching and moving forward. A great leader doesn’t just lead by doing and listening, he/she must also develop the ones around you. It is just like the best coaches; the best coaches teach their players to be better than they are. The coach is proud when the player beats the coach’s record.

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