Want to get promoted? It seems counter-intuitive, but the fastest way to do so is to obsolete yourself.
Sure, there’s a natural fear that comes with rendering yourself unnecessary. Often, people believe they have to be needed; I even know some control freaks who believe they have to be center of everything to prove their importance. But there’s a problem with this. If you are so needed and you haven’t scaled your team to be better than you, then you will have to stay in your role—and you will likely not be considered for something else.
That’s not success—it’s stagnation. It’s a way to keep career in second gear instead of switching it to fifth. You are penned in from deploying all the magic you’re capable of. Having everything go through you—instead of figuring out how to delegate and scale—also holds the company back.
High energy, capable and driven people don’t like to do the same things over and over again. Once you have things moving well without your involvement, you free up cycles. That means you can spend your energy on other things that will enhance what you want for your career, your company and the world.
It’s time to stop convincing yourself that you can’t scale or that you have an upper limits problem.
Five steps to obsolete yourself and unleash greatness:
1. Surround yourself with great talent. Put great people in place and free yourself up. You can go on to do more challenging work at the next level.
2. Guide your people and work with them so they can do their magic. You can get much more done if you are leading them to greatness rather than babysitting or micromanaging them.
3. When you see them hit that stride, give them more to do. Grow and challenge them constantly.
4. Get ready for the uncomfortable feeling of not being needed anymore. That means you have developed a strong team.
5. Look for where else you can make an impact. There’s something else that does need you. Put your energy to work there.
You have now obsoleted yourself in a good way. Your team is strong and no longer needs your physical presence on every matter. Instead they channel you in their decisions. This is what success looks like. Now you can employ your passion and energy elsewhere. There are always new mountains to climb. Step up to something more challenging and go make a bigger difference.