Given the rapid pace of change in most organizations, it is likely that you have—at least on occasion—considered the value you add (and what you have invested in it). Value is the return on investment benefit that your company enjoys because of your unique contribution to clients, colleagues and work product. It also includes things like how you enhance the company brand, introduce innovative approaches or facilitate breakthrough solutions that impact the bottom-line. The degree of value you uniquely bring to your company is directly correlated with your irreplaceability.
There are an unfortunately low number of people who would describe themselves as irreplaceable. When a new boss comes onboard, or an existing employee is promoted to a managerial position, often their first step is to actively seek out people with ideas about “making things better around the office.” These individuals can be called the “linchpins,” and they are the ones who have lived and will continue to live in the organization long after the incoming boss is gone. They have more skin in the game—and perspective—so seeking them out will aid the manager in assessing the organization’s capacity—their ability to grow.