“Why did you write your book?” This question is often asked from individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses.
The answer is simple, “We often hear, “Anyone can be replaced.” But I asked the question, “Is it true?” I absolutlely believe each of us was made to make an irreplaceable difference in the world, and we have a unique ability to contribute something meaningful to positive change.”
But abstract knowledge isn’t enough. Impact requires wisdom to know what your specific capabilities are, and how to do something special with them. So I set out on a journey to discover what employers were looking for, and why some people are easily let go, while leaders fight to keep others.
Interestingly, I found what employers, (and people in general), want, whether they recognize the similarity or not, are the same qualities God says will benefit and prosper us. When I researched the Bible, I found over 800 insights on work, and compared them to my investigation notes on what made the difference between those who succeeded and those who failed. The results were striking.
Though the book offers modern-day story examples, inspirational additions, and a longer list of qualitities, here are a few bullet points of simple things we can do to set ourselves apart, and make ourselves irreplaceable in the process:
- Decide to have a teachable spirit. Someone willing to listen, to learn, and to apply knowledge.
- Cultivate a wise mind. Knowledge is only as good as your ability to take positive action based on what you know. Otherwise, arrogance stifles wisdom, and your chances at success.
- Practice gratitude. This one change can alter everything, and make you happier, regardless of circumstance. Insecurity breeds a protective, territorial, “Look out for number one,” attitude. But when you determine to look for at least one positive thing in every situation, project, and person, it will transform your perspective. There’s a strange magnetic attraction to grateful people, and since most of us spend the majority of our time, energy, and words on complaints and gossip, thankful people stand out.
- Choose to behave with humble confidence. There’s a fine balance between taking initiative, and over-stepping lines of authority. Clarify what expectations are, then do whatever you can to meet them. Don’t behave like a clinging vine, constantly asking if you’re doing okay. But neither charge like a runaway bull, assuming you’ve got all the answers. Periodic checks to align yourself with true expectations will save you lots of grief.
- Fess up when you mess up. We live in a culture where attempts to hide failure are the norm. But when you step up and take responsibility, miraculous shifts take place. With confession comes mercy.
- Work from a place of preventables. Imagine what the future might look like when you make various choices, and then decide what action to take based on potential consequences.
- Treat the property, resources, time, and money of others as if you owned it yourself. Throughout my years working for others, I often asked myself, “What would I do if this were my company?” The answer to that question always steers me right.
I wrote the book to show people how simple choices make powerful differences in outcome. But since the book released a few weeks ago, I’ve heard some surprising and exciting side-benefits. Many leaders are telling me the book is opening their eyes to see and appreciate the qualities of their best people. Instead of continuing to take their ethics and attitudes for granted, they are showing new gratitude.
If my book has accomplished that, then the hours and energy spent writing it were worthwhile. After all, making a difference was why I wrote my book.
Do you believe anyone can be replaced? Or is it possible to make such a difference that when you leave, the place is never quite the same in positive ways?
Psalm 90:17 (NIV)
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and national speaker. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Lifeway, Christianbook.com, select Walmart’s, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries. Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite past time is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.