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Make Yourself Irrelevant

Posted by Amy Wilson on July 29, 2009


I am currently reading Jason Seiden’s book How to Self-Destruct: Making the Least of What’s Left of Your Career. It’s a hoot! And, what’s more, it’s filled with lots of not-so-obvious morsels of what you might be doing wrong. Like Jason’s blog says, it’s smart, practical advice and I’m looking forward to more.

One of my favorite morsels is “Make Yourself Indispensable.”

Of course, the best way to avoid unwanted promotions in the first place is to convince everyone how important you are in your current position. Clearly articulate all the problems that will beset the organization should you be removed from your role for any reason.

Of course, this isn’t really Jason’s advice. (this book certainly keeps you on your toes). In fact, his real advice is to make yourself dispensable. By hiring, training, and depending on quality people, you are putting yourself in line to take on broader responsibility and eventually a higher role.

I recently practiced self-irrelevancy and it felt great. Though I haven’t been tapped to be CEO, I’m sure I’m on the short list, so I know it was effective. What did I do? I left town. Going on vacation is an excellent way to show everyone how dispensable you are. By releasing any control and letting others shine, I showed how much my team can do and how much more we can do (boy, is my team thanking me now😉 ).

Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t always practiced self-irrelevancy. I used to think I was really important. I am thankful that I got a taste of how well it works and sure appreciate Jason putting it all into perspective.

4 Responses to “Make Yourself Irrelevant”

  1. Meg Bear said

    Don’t let them tell you any differently Amy, you do a great job being irrelevant. Oh…. wait… maybe that’s not what I mean😉.

    Seriously though, excellent post and great reminder that I’ve been planning to read Jason’s book for some time.

  2. That’s great to make myself irrelevant.

    Our team can solve routine problems. But not sure with even bigger problem.
    Perhaps We need more time and training.

  3. Amy Wilson said

    Thanks for your comment Surachart. You’re right – it’s harder than it sounds!

    Meg – thanks for the encouragement🙂

  4. […] be to acknowledge that  you are part of the problem.  You are probably happy with the fact that you are indispensable and you might enjoy the comfort of being the best at what you […]

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