Make yourself indispensable. That must be the key to a long and successful small business career surely.
We’ve all seen them. Strutting the office like a displaying peacock. Assured of the fact that no one else could do the job they do. It would be impossible. And therefore they are indispensable.
How wonderful. How wonderful that if they got run over by a bus this afternoon the small business’ vertical pipeline would come to a standstill because they were no longer able to carry out their work.
Ah yes you say but you have to think of No 1 first, yourself. Make yourself indispensable and that small business will need you more. And they will pay you more and love and nurture you.
Well let me tell you how it is from the small business perspective: They hate “indispensable “. They loathe “indispensable “. If there’s one thing they can’t abide, it’s “indispensable “.
Why? For the very same reasons that you love it.
Indispensable means leaving a hole when you’re not there.
Indispensable means blocking the pathways of progress for anyone try to move through you.
Indispensable means someone focused on themselves and not on the business, motivated by self interest and not by the ability to develop their subordinates. Paranoid and negative, insecure and moody. A small business pain in the arse.
Make yourself indispensable? No. If you really want to impress the boss, spend your time making yourself totally dispensable. Coach your subordinates to improve their skills. Encourage them to believe that you will look to promote them at every opportunity. Praise others at meetings. Give credit to the person whose idea it really was. Work hard to ensure that your role continues smoothly even if you are not there.
Share the secrets of your success. Have you ever heard a TV chef say “this is my favourite recipe but I’m not going to tell you what it is”? Of course not. TV chefs can’t wait to share their favourite recipes. In fact they are passionate to make sure you try them and get them absolutely right. And that’s because they know that if the recipes work for you, you will follow them to the end of the earth.
So shed the attitude of a follower and become a leader. Leaders rarely fail. Small business leaders rarely fail.
Don’t make yourself indispensable. Make yourself invaluable. There’s a big difference.
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