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 … [Read more...]

How to Create a Culture of Speed

"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough." -- Mario Andretti, American race car driver. "The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow." -- Rupert Murdock, Australian-American media mogul. "I've always found that the speed of the boss is the speed of the team." -- Lee Iacocca, former CEO and Chairman of Chrysler Corporation. Though we like to think of ourselves as living in the Space Age or the Information Era, future historians may well label this the "Hurry Up Epoch." For decades now, we've scrambled to keep pace with technological change, ramping up our productivity to startling levels, which helps us further advance our technology, leading to greater productivity...and so on in a rising spiral. Nowadays … [Read more...]