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What Would My Replacement Do?

by Matthew Walley September 18, 2014

You’re sitting at your desk, on an ordinary day, thinking about how your job has become mundane or perhaps about how you just don’t want to put in that extra effort today. Maybe you’ve been in the same job for years, and it was fun when you started, or maybe you stumbled into your job due to some connections and you’ve now realized that it doesn’t lend itself to your strengths. Maybe your boss seems to be a micromanager or overbearing. Whatever your situation, if you’re reading this and not skipping into your office everyday with a smile on your face, I urge you to take a moment to think about one question.

“What would I do if my job was taken away from me and someone replaced me?”

Let’s focus on that part of the question for a minute – What would my replacement do?

These five simple words can have a powerful impact on your job performance and your level of job satisfaction. Imagine for a moment that your job is taken away from you, or if that’s too painful, imagine that your spouse has just landed his or her dream job and that you have to relocate. Either way, you’ve been replaced in your current role by someone new. Someone younger and hungrier; someone with more charisma and drive. Someone who felt they were super fortunate to have been given this opportunity. Take time to imagine what this person would do that you’re not doing. Find a half an hour to sit with a pen and paper and think, “What would my replacement do?”Excited Businessman

Maybe they’d be a little more responsive with the staff. Perhaps they would follow through on things better. Maybe they wouldn’t over-promise and under-deliver. Maybe, just maybe, they would go beyond the job description, taking on responsibilities you never even thought about. They might go the extra mile, put in the extra effort and take that department of yours, well, that was yours, to a whole new level.

After you have taken time to think about what your replacement would do, look at the list in front of you and circle the things that you could actually take on right now. Things that would make a difference. Things that might stand out to your team. Things that might make the jobs of your colleagues a little easier. Things that at the end of the day will allow you to look in the mirror and say “I am proud of you! You did some amazing things today, and you should feel great about them!”

You have all the abilities that your replacement does! You just need to take the time to look inside of yourself, find that younger, hungrier you and decide that today’s the day. Today is the day that I am going to take things to a whole new level. Today is the day that if my spouse or my son or my daughter follow me around at work they will see a person who is inspired to make a difference. A phenomenal employee, a thoughtful colleague, a go-getter and someone who replaced himself with a better version.

Take time to think. You’ll be surprised at just how powerful a person you really are!


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