You Are Dispensable & Replaceable
These days, people don’t stick with things that aren’t working.
Had a poor customer service experience? Move onto a new company.
Tried a bad restaurant? Move on to something new.
Phone qualifies for an upgrade? Get the newest model.
Everything is dispensable and replaceable.
You’re dispensable and replaceable if you don’t learn new things and aren’t willing to change. Just like that outdated phone is quick to get tossed, you will be replaced by someone who is excited to learn, adapt, and grow. Companies today have no use for people who are stuck in the old ways of doing things. You have to adapt and adjust continually, especially if you are in a leadership position.
I love what Shellye Archambeau, the former CEO of MetricStream, told me: “Those who learn and are able to take the best risks will drive the best performance. With all these things changing around you, unless you’re a risk taker you are just not going to be able to capitalize on the opportunities that exist out there.”
Nobody is going to look out for you but you.
You’re dispensable and replaceable if you don’t take on new challenges. In the future of work, being stagnant is the same as going backwards. How we live, work, and communicate is changing. With those changes come challenges and new opportunities. People who volunteer and take those challenges head-on see success, while people who sit back and shy away from challenges get left behind.
Shawn Riegsecker, CEO of Basis Technologies, told me this: “In order to get what you want, you must do those things that give you the confidence to do just a little bit more the next day. I believe the greatest point of growth occurs when you get uncomfortable and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You must put your toes on the edge of comfortable and step into uncertainty to make a real difference in your life.”
It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone but the most successful leaders got to where they are because they are willing to do the things that other people don’t want to do. You won’t succeed at every single challenge you take on, nor should you. What matters is your willingness to keep learning, keep growing, and keep challenging yourself to get better, this is what a growth mindset is all about.
You’re dispensable and replaceable if you aren’t emotionally intelligent. These days, it’s not just about what you know; it’s about how you act. Being the smartest person in the room doesn’t matter if you aren’t emotionally intelligent and practice empathy and self-awareness. With increased connectivity and technology comes greater collaboration, which means your ability to build relationships and connect with people is crucial to your success.
Especially with the growth of AI and machine learning taking over the repetitive and mundane parts of our jobs, it’s our ability to be human that sets us apart and creates the strongest growth opportunities. If you don’t pay attention to how other people feel or work to improve your relationships, you are at a real risk for being replaced, and likely by a machine.
Emotional intelligence comes from talking to other people, listening, and collaborating. As you practice self-awareness to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses and how other people view you, you’ll be able to continually improve and become a better teammate and human.
When I interviewed Hans Vestberg, the CEO of Verizon Communications, he told me:
“The first layer of skills a good leader must master are internal: managing himself or herself as an individual human being, including emotional balance. A lot of leaders are tempted to ignore or deemphasize this most basic layer, but they do so at their peril.”
Not having these qualities make you replaceable and dispensable. But this isn’t you is it?
You learn things and are willing to change, you take on new challenges and get out of your comfort zone, and you practice emotional intelligence.
You prove your value every day as you push yourself, take risks, and mentor others. You aren’t dispensable because you regularly update your skills and mindsets to prepare for the future.
Some people are dispensable and replaceable, are you one of those people?
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