“It’s obvious that being good at your job is good for your career. But being a superstar can actually hurt it.
I know how counterintuitive that sounds, so let me explain. Most employees think that the best way to show value to their boss and get promoted is to aggressively claim credit and ownership over everything they do. While it’s important to be recognized for what you do and the value you add, grabbing the glory is going to turn off your co-workers. And speaking as a CEO, trying too hard to show you’re a superstar tells me that you only care about what’s best for you, and not the company as a whole.
What if you’re successful in convincing everyone that you are a true superstar, the best at your job in the entire company? Well, being irreplaceable is a double-edged sword. It not only means you’re unfireable — you’re alsounpromotable. Again, from my vantage point, why would I allow one employee to be promoted to another job if it creates a huge void elsewhere?
So my advice to young workers and even mid-career managers is this: be as unselfish as possible. That means not only helping others with their jobs, but actively training people to do your job well. This helps your co-workers, helps your company, and helps you.”