I'm a cog.

Me:

I’m a very sharp, highly specific, purposefully purposeful cog that’s part of a much bigger, much more grand, machine. I play a very specific, highly needed part so that others can do the same. I serve the unit, the team, and its mission - not myself.

Seth Godin says to “be a linchpin,” but I’m starting to wonder if that concept isn’t just a bit arrogant and self-centered. Are any of us truly indispensable? Aren’t we all replaceable?

Currently, I’m the Product Manager at Pure Charity, so I know all the reasons I need to be a linchpin, to be indispensable. I know I do a great job leading product for Pure Charity and that I may seem indispensable. But if something happened, the bus factor for example, and I needed to be replaced, I’m sure I could be. Sure, there would likely be a few hiccups in the process, but again, are any of us truly indispensable? Aren’t we all replaceable at some point? There’s always someone better than you, someone striving to learn what you know, to be what you can be, do what you can do. To think that you can truly be indispensable is a farse. It’s fiction. It’s not possible. It’s a trap of the prideful.

So why do we lie to ourselves?

Rather than striving to be a linchpin, to be indispensable - why not focus on how purposeful you are to your team? Recognize the specificity of the role you play in the grand machine and mission. Serve the unit, the team, and its mission - not yourself.