Monday, January 16, 2012

Everybody Can Be Replaced

I will admit it, I can't stop watching Dance Moms.  If you've not seen the show, it is based on a dance instructor and her troupe of young girls who compete in contests and of course, their moms.  Last week was the season premiere and in it the dance instructor repeatedly stated that everyone can be replaced.  This hit me so hard and I spent a lot of time thinking about why.  I concede, the dance world is probably more competitive than I could ever survive, and that type of realism is probably a good thing for future dancers to learn at an early age.  However, my first boss out of college used to love to throw the "everyone can be replaced" in my face...repeatedly.  And I have heard some version of it, more or less, from more than one boss since.  So it got me thinking.  It is probably true that people can be replaced.  However, what does it say about the leader who uses that as a primary motivator?  Does the phrase come from a place of fear?  Either you are going to leave because this is a dead end job or if I'm not careful you'll take my job so I'd better put you in your place.  Or does it come from a place of wishful thinking?  Everyone can be replaced and I'd really like to start with you.  Either way, it seems to indicate some deeper meaning that the leader is choosing to leave unspoken.  So, next time you hear that glorious phrase...start sharpening up your resume.  And if you hear it coming out of your own mouth, examine what is motivating you to say it.  Let me know if there is another meaning I am missing.