Make yourself dispensable?

As it often happens, had a conversation with Mike about one topic and somehow arrived to Rand Fishkinâ??s blog. In one of the posts, Rand writes about outdated advice to employees on â??making yourself indespensableâ?. This means that your company will supposedly need you so damn much, it will not be able to function without you or replace you. Evil sysadmins come to mind, or programmers that hoard their secrets and obfuscate their code, or sales people who will not share their leads with anyone.

I think itâ??s silly to protect whatever it is you do, only to make your job â??secureâ?. You shoot yourself in the foot, because if youâ??re guarding your current tasks, you canâ??t really move forward. Wouldnâ??t it be better to instead share what you do with the team, and see if they can improve on it, and have a chance to work on something else? Iâ??d also argue that job security does not really depend on how well youâ??re doing whatever youâ??re doing now/hired to do, it is how quick you can figure out new ways to do things better, how good youâ??re with your team and how much you can give to them and help them grow.

Sean, who runs Fluent, talks about it often, and heâ??s mastered the art of sharing and delegation. I remember when they just started he used to be involved in day-to-day tasks, but in the course of couple of years, by sharing what he does and delegating, he was able to move to his strategic role and do bigger things (grow and run the company), while his team keeps day-to-day work going. So I see him as a captain who started as a deckhand :) Imagine if he insisted on staying an indespensable deckhand?

*Captain who mastered the art of delegation

This is another reason why I enjoy meetups and our weekly Show&Tell meetings, because thatâ??s where you find the smartest and most generous folks sharing their knowledge. They are not afraid to lose their â??powerâ?, because their power is in their curiosity, ability to learn and teach. And this can not be taken away.

Visit Randâ??s post for his take on employersâ?? point of view and some interesting comments.

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