Four secret strategies to ensure you are the last to be fired!

In this blog, I would like to share with you four successful strategies to ensure you are a TOP (The On-Purpose) Performer and thereby help “bullet proof” your career.

In a previous blog I explored the difference between a Me Inc! or Me Stink! Mindset. As an employee or team member you will usually demonstrate either one of these in the way you consistently serve your customers and clients. With a Me Stink! Mindset you react below the line nearly always blaming rather than taking responsibility for your thinking, feelings attitudes and behaviours.

By contrast, when you respond to your environment with a Me Inc! Mindset, you proactively respond above the line, assuming responsibility and acting as if you were the owner or manager of the organisation.  You see yourself as having a business within the business.


If you get this and implement it in your current position and throughout your career, you will be seen as a TOP Performer and this will go a long way to ensure that you will be the last to be fired in an uncertain and competitive careers market.

Here are four strategies and some check points to think about and action so it becomes just part of who you are in the workplace. And of course make you stand out!

When you have a ME Inc! or Think Inc! Mindset you:

  1. Take Responsibility for Your Thinking, Feelings, Attitudes and Behaviour

With so much negativity and “blaming” going on around us it is easy to slip into these patterns ourselves, especially if you are in a competitive work environment where everyone is trying to protect their own back.

Consider how you score against these check points. Do you usually…

  • Display a high degree of self-responsibility, accountability and ownership for your thinking patterns, attitudes and behaviours?
  • Treat negative outcomes as learning experiences, not failures?
  • Respond in an optimistic way to day-to-day challenges?
  • Seek ways to help your employer or manager accomplish their goals? (You can do this by figuring out how your employer can make money, save money, grow sales, create a better working environment, improve customer service and innovate).
  1. Develop a long term perspective

I know that it is not fashionable to stay too long in one position. But employers know how expensive it is to replace you.  Typically, they will have invested a lot of money recruiting and on-boarding you into your new position. They want to know that they have made a wise investment into the future of the organisation or the business. In the interview they will be wanting to find out if you really want the position because they don’t want to repeat the process six months down the track. So what does taking a long term perspective mean for you as an employee?

Do you usually …

  • Think beyond the present to secure a successful future?

Don’t be tempted to exchange your life for a pay cheque (if you can possibly help it). You want to make sure that any position you take is alignment with your life purpose, career goal, values, career anchors, core strengths and transferable skills.

  • Maintain perspective through the pain and pleasure of work and life and not quit when things don’t go your way?

It’s tempting to look for another position when things get tough in the workplace.  You may be experience conflict with a colleague, feel you are not being heard, being overworked and undervalued or just not receiving the job satisfaction you had hoped for. Running from any of these is not the answer in the first instance.  As you well know, the same situations are just as likely to occur in another positon.  So ask yourself, what is the learning experience here?  What is the invitation in this situation for me to learn and change?  What is the universe asking me to learn through this situation? There may be times where you need to ‘cut and run’ but make sure it is not your default reaction.

  • Seek new opportunities to learn, develop and grow personally and professionally?

This sounds like common sense. But it doesn’t take long to be socialised into a workplace culture and to settle into a comfort zone.  Seek opportunities for you to grow as a person and a leader. Expand your horizons and think about being successful, profitable, and sustainable long term?


  1. Seek to Add Value

Now I know you might think that this is not your business and you will get paid at the end of the week anyway.  If you are just exchanging your life for a pay cheque you have a Stink Inc! not a Think Inc! Mindset (Unless of course you don’t have the luxury of self-actualising and have been forced through circumstances to put food on the table and to pay the mortgage).

Adding value really makes the world go around and will hugely benefit you, your employer, manager and organisation.

Do you usually…

  • Seek to add value by constantly looking to improve the situation, solve problems and continually seek to make a difference.  You and or your team will always benefit because you just make life better. A TOP performer with a ME INC! Mindset continually looks for ways to add value to relationships and business. What can you do in your position or business to add value?
  • Seek and create opportunities for yourself or your team to serve, influence and grow?
  • Think as a team player and use your strengths to complement other members of your Team?
  • Display an honest, passionate, open-minded, creative and committed attitude? (At the end of the day, with a ME INC! Mindset you seek to serve yourself and others in meaningful work.
  1. Adopt a sales and marketing mindset

When most people think of sales they think of the hard sell. But adopting a sales and marketing mindset regardless of the position you hold within the organisation is crucial if you want to stand out from other members of your team and be the last to be laid off.

I have come across so many who say “I just work here”.  When you think like the owner of a business or if you were to pretend to come back into your role as a consultant, what would you do more of and do less of?  One important characteristic of a Think Inc! Mindset is to always be on the look out to promote your business or organisation.

So…do you usually…

  • Treat everyone you meet as a customer, a potential customer or someone who could refer a customer?
  • Think that whenever you are in the front line delivering a service to customers you are in a sales and marketing position regardless of what you do? (I heard the other day in response to this – “I’m just an… employee, it’s not my job to seek business for my employer”. That is Stinking Thinking or having a ME STINK! Mindset. Try to reframe your Mindset to one of running your own profitable business within the business.  Unless the business or organisation is productive and profitable, you will soon be out of a job or the business will go broke).
  • Seek to be ambassadors for your business or organisation? (Think about the way you talk about your employer, the way you dress, the language you use and the ideas you express)

Stop and take a moment to think.  Is this a lot of croc or what? Who actually benefits when you have a Me Inc! or Think Inc! mindset?

  1. You benefit – you are excited at being engaged in meaningful work and feel fulfilled, satisfied and are more productive and able to achieve results. You are making a difference!
  2. The team and your co-workers benefit by being more productive, engaged, considerate and cohesive. The team is making a difference!
  3. Your family benefits.  You don’t come home each night and kick the dog as you walk through the door.  The positive ripple effect of you being happy at work and on-purpose is enormous.
  4. The business owner, manager or CEO benefits. Financially the business is growing and being more productive and purposeful. With the business being more profitable, you, by default have greater job security. Business owners are encouraged to see staff growing, uniting and excelling. They become more confident with the success of business and can plan for future growth.
  5. If you have suppliers then they will benefit also.  Makes sense doesn’t it? They are guaranteed continuity of their product or service.
  6. And of course Shareholders will benefit through great profitability, performance and productivity

So being a TOP Performer with a ME INC! mindset is transformational and will go a long way to ensure that you are the “first on and last off”.

© Dr Edward Gifford
CEO (Chief Enthusiasm Office)