When you are on a journey towards success – you gain knowledge, experience, confidence and leadership qualities to lead people your way. That’s why it is quoted by leadership author, mentor and speaker John Maxwell that “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”. Success is not just about gaining; it demands you to loose many things in equal proportion or even more.

Today we are discussing about a serious syndrome which you have to get rid of at any cost in order to ensure success in your journey. It is a syndrome which is subdued & hidden in all of us and with few glimpses of success, it starts raising its head. At the beginning of our journey – with less experience and confusing directions – this syndrome usually does not get any space to grow. But as we start tasting success, the syndrome gets the nutrition and one day able to overshadow our knowledge. The syndrome is called IMS or “Irreplaceable Me Syndrome” which I came across recently while going through an NYTIMES article which termed this generic yet critical term.

The name of the syndrome is self-explanatory as it completely reflects the signs of ego, overconfidence and self-centric attitude. Let me alert you that this is a hyper-critical syndrome which shall be destroyed at the initial stage before it consumes you and stops you achieving success. If I will explain this syndrome briefly, IMS means – where you get into a wrong belief that only you can assure the brightest future of your startup/enterprise or company. If you can relate yourself to this syndrome, you will certainly mark the below signs in you and we will advise that you should start rejecting these as soon as possible.

Poking into everything

As a leader, your work is to ensure that your people are following the right way and ethics. While it is equally important to provide them freedom to execute the tasks as per their skills, where you can only put suggestions and protocols. Don’t poke into the root-level tasks as it will create distrust among your colleagues and loose thier confidence to work for you.

disrespecting opinions

In an enterprise, it is certain to have difference in opinion for all the decision making process and if you want to succeed, you have to respect everyone’s opinion. While everyone wants their opinion to be followed, which can’t be practically followed – but by respecting their opinion you provide value to them and it gives them motivation to refine their thought process. Disrespecting opinions will make you a person where you can’t share the risk load of your decisions with your colleagues or partners.

What happens when you can’t get rid of IMS?

Certainly it is not well for your career, when you stick to this syndrome. Sharing an excerpt from one of the books of author┬áRichard A. Collinsworth, which explains this scenario with a good example. Here you go –

Imagine a pail full of water – about two or three gallons will do. Now imagine that you take both hands and reach into the pail. Grab all the water that you can hold and pull out. Now look at the water. There may not be quite as much water in pail as before, and there may have been some mild and temporary disruption to the surface, but in a few minutes, the whole thing settled down. The surface was smooth, there was no hole, and all the water that was left simply flowed back in and filled the hole you left. The whole that is left is how “valuable” or “irreplaceable” you are to the company.

Consider the above example for your own startups and businesses; understand the contribution of others to achieve a common goal and start respecting their goals too.

If you know any IMS signs which you might have seen in your colleagues or partners, please share with us. We will add those signs into this post, with credits to the authors.