Three Reasons Not to Worry About a Subordinate Trying to Take Over

September 27, 2016
Three Reasons Not to Worry About a Subordinate Trying to Take Over

“Lower in rank or position”

Lots of people worry about somebody better coming along and stealing their job. It’s a pretty standard human insecurity, and as long as it remains just that, it’s not particularly damaging. But unfortunately, a lot of people take this insecurity to a whole new level, and fight tooth and nail to stop anybody ever being better than them.

In particular, this insecurity often manifests itself within teams, where a manager will actively withhold information and knowledge from the people they manage, in an effort to stop them from ever being a risk to their “superior” position.

If you’re not sure what I mean, just read this short Dilbert comic strip.

The cartoon strip is obviously somewhat exaggerated, but it highlights a very serious issue. If you are withholding information from people you manage, because you worry it will arm them to the point where they try to take over your job role, then here are three reasons you should change your attitude.

1. Collective knowledge builds stronger teams
2. Stronger teams make you look good
3. If you look good, you could be promoted yourself

Collective Knowledge Builds Stronger Teams

Teams are meant to be working towards common goals. For example, if you are in charge of the sales team, your goal is probably to bring as many new customers on-board as possible.

If you have expert knowledge, then sharing it with your team will only make your team stronger. The more your team members know, the better they will be equipped to do their jobs. And the better equipped they are to do their jobs, the more likely you are to hit you goals.

Stronger Teams Make You Look Good

Your role as a leader is to help your team be the best they can be, so that they can generate excellent results.

When your team is generating excellent results, then this is a massive reflection on your skills as a leader. Purposefully withholding useful information that prevents your team from getting stronger only serves to weaken your team, and in turn, makes you look bad as a leader.

If You Look Good, You Could Be Promoted Yourself

Instead of trying to guard your current position, wouldn’t it make more sense to aim for a higher position? Don’t let your existing role be your glass ceiling – reach for the stars!

Let’s say your worst fear happens, and somebody in your team applies for your job and gets it. If you’ve been doing everything you can to build a stronger team, then you are more likely to be recognised and congratulated for helping this particular team member reach this point in their career.


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