Always Replace Yourself

You should always be replacing yourself. 

There will be milestones you achieve in work or in a community. Sometimes it’s a promotion, a new level of prestige, or a new title. It’s a great moment to celebrate and take a beat for a job well done. 

Now what?

I believe your thoughts should immediately be focused on finding the person to replace you. Someone who can do it better or take it further. 

If you are doing something important, then its survival and long term success depend on your ability to get out of the way. If something dies the moment you stop touching it, you don’t have a functioning company. You have a micro-management hell-hole that will burn you down along with all the people around you. 

There’s also the fundamental truth that you learn more by teaching than by just doing. You gain a better understanding of your role the moment you start attempting to teach it to someone else and they ask questions you never have. It makes you take a new look at your own processes and habits. 

So what happens when you work your butt off teaching people, and they leave? 

My rule with staff is, “You won’t be here forever. So what is it you’re trying to accomplish? How do we help you get there?” I’m in charge of job titles. I’m in charge of job roles. We can work you towards the thing that you want while you help build the company we need. 

I always hire with the immediate assumption that this person won’t be here forever. If I’m training them for my job, I need to be ready for the reality that they’re not cut out for it, or that they learn it’s not what they want.

I need to be willing to invest and grow people regardless of what direction that knowledge and growth takes them. 

What you gain in the long run by living life with an open hand is far more powerful than the small micro gains you cling to with grasping fingers. 

Live life with an open hand. Become a launching point for magical human beings. 

Daniel Whittington – Chancellor