A blog post I read the other day on Seth Godin's blog (read it) gave me an absolute moment of clarity. "The problem with fitting in and being a cog in the machine is that cogs are intentionally designed to be easily replaced. When one breaks you just get a new one. No one particularly misses the old one." We have spoken on this blog a number of times about the changing nature of work. And about how you, as a commercially valuable talent, are facing a new and different work place than your parents did. (Read Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink) So if talent is the commodity of this century, and business life cycles are getting shorter; then your choice is obvious. Be an asset, or be replaced by someone who is. This is particularly relevant in todays uncertain economic times. Here are some things for you to ponder (I like that word) :
- If you left tomorrow; who would care? Would you be like removing a finger carefully from a glass of water, like removing a support beam from a wall? (Tip: be the beam)
- If your initiative stopped tomorrow, would anybody notice?
- How important is your project? (If you aren't on one then GET ON ONE!)
- What makes you the "must have" resource in your company? (Forget technical capability! You need that just to get into the game.)
- Think about the extra areas. Innovation, adding real value ($$$), developer of future leaders, or breadth of ability.
- Are you a goto person? Will clients / managers / supervisors or peers (internal and external) seek you out for your views on issues?
- And if they do, could they easily seek out someone else?