The Leader’s Dilemma: No One Should Be Indispensable — Not Even You

"The graveyards are full of indispensable men." -- Charles DeGaulle One of the basic tenets of popular business advice, publicized even by industry leaders like Forbes, is that you should strive to make yourself indispensable to your boss. But just like pop culture, pop business advice can be, well, weird. Worse, it can damage your career. I understand why some people would advise workers to become indispensable in their roles; and given the current economic situation, it's even more understandable that some would listen. But that doesn’t make it good advice. Think about it: why would a manager promote away the one person their team literally couldn't do without? Indispensability = stagnation for the worker. From the management perspective, it limits team productivity, because it e … [Read more...]