A famous statement about teachers is attributed to (one biographically mysterious) Thomas Carruthers: “A good teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” Is it supposed to be Carothers? Anyone have a clue about this guy?
Either which way, it seems as though the same can be said of any leader in the workplace. In the role of catalyst and mediator, helping people adapt to challenges, the goal is not to become indispensable. It is to spark new ways of thinking that will add to the existing inventory of strengths, resources and efficiencies.
Work roles change over time, and help that was once essential may no longer be required. Leadership is not the same as management; leaders can be present at any level of an organization. Meanwhile, as the learning progresses, hopefully trust is deepening, relationships are growing, and new opportunities are showing themselves on the horizon. This is a natural cycle.
The poet Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Work is love made visible.” So…greater visibility and more love in exchange for working hard…and maybe (possibly) becoming unnecessary at some point in the future?
Sounds to me like a bargain worth making, and a risk that is healthy for organizations as well as the people who work to make their organizations succeed.