On a scale of 1-10, (with 1 being “not at all” and 10 being “scared to death”) how fearful are you of losing your current job?
Hopefully, you are at a 1.
If you are at a 5 or above, how stressed do you feel right now?
I would say pretty freaking stressed, right?
I ask this question because even with the world-changing, with new positions being posted daily, with the corporate world actively recruiting top talent, if we are trapped in our belief that we are “too much” and too much is just not right, we will live in a place of fear.
So if I asked you, how would you like to eliminate that stress and change that 5, that 7, that 9 to a 1, what would you tell me?
I would expect your response to be, “Yes, please!”
Well, since you asked so nicely, let’s get you the answer.
The secret isn’t really a secret, it’s something you already know to do, but in my experience, many women stop doing this because of their focus on protecting their jobs.
Innovating Isn’t Difficult
What is this not-so-secret activity that you must get back to doing?
Innovation is the key to becoming irreplaceable.
Don’t let innovation scare you or freak you out.
You don’t have to create the next iPod to be an innovator.
You simply must find a way to solve a problem, improve a process, or serve a customer better than anyone else.
That is the true definition of innovation.
If you think about the iPod, that’s all Steve Jobs did, right?
He said, instead of having to carry around a 30-pound case of CDs everywhere you go, instead of running people off of the road as you dive into the backseat for that CD case so you can swap out the CDs in your deck, let’s put the music in your pocket.
His question was: how do I make it better?
Now, he solved the problem with technology but that doesn’t mean you have to.
You can solve the problem with any tools you like and have at your disposal.
So why is innovation so critical to becoming irreplaceable?
Let’s think about it for a second . . .
When you innovate, you are doing what?
Making the company better.
I don’t know any c-suite executives or board members who don’t like a leader who makes the company better.
A better company typically means happier employees and customers.
Innovation is something employees can rally around, get behind, align and focus on as a common mission.
Beyond that, if the innovation makes life easier for the customer, business improves because customers are actively choosing you over your competitors.
The company wins.
So instead of being fearful of innovation, step back into it.
Focus on Innovating Again
Know that you probably were extremely innovative before you felt at risk in your career.
How do I know this?
Because you wouldn’t be the high achiever that you are, climbing the ladder and being successful if you weren’t an innovator.
You probably ask yourself, “How do I solve that problem?” or “How do I make it better?” at least 10 times a day.
The only difference is that when you are focused on keeping yourself safe, you are solving short-term problems to make yourself look better and feel more secure.
When you’re not focused on yourself, you then solve problems and innovate on a larger scale.
A noticeable scale that gets you recognized and appreciated.
So again, do you want to have your fear level at a 1?