By Carlee Pett, Account Executive, R&J Public Relations
Abby Lee Miller, the harsh and brutally honest – yet very successful – star of one of my guilty-pleasure TV shows, Dance Moms, gives us all an important life and business lesson in this season of her Lifetime reality show. The short-tempered dance coach focuses her newest season on the fact that “everyone’s replaceable.”
Miss Abby’s dance team has been comprised of the same group of girls for years. These girls have helped to advance Abby’s name in the dance industry by sweeping away several first place prizes in competitions and national championships, raising their teacher’s profile and stature in the process. But just when you’d think her dancers are secure on the team, Abby comes fully-equipped this season with an over-the-top, some would say cruel, attitude, repeatedly reminding her dancers that every single one of them is replaceable. Her season-long slogan that “everyone’s replaceable” is supported by the auditions that she has already set up in major cities to scout replacements.
Although Abby may be vicious in her delivery, her message is a good reminder that should resonate in many industries outside of dance and television. In reality, you’re replaceable, and so are the people sitting in the cubicles next to you. Someone better or someone cheaper can easily take your spot, making it imperative that you embrace your full potential, stop settling for mediocrity, stop limiting yourself, and never lose the sparkle that sets you apart from your competition. Here are some tips:
Embrace and Encourage Change. People are generally terrified of change. But don’t be. Encourage change that could advance your company and your clients. Don’t wait until your boss – or dance coach – reprimands you to make a change in your work habits or style. Dance instructor Abby is a stellar example that supports the constant need for change. While most competitive dance teams learn a core handful of group dances, solos and duets for competitions, throughout the entire season, Abby is sure to keep her dancers on their toes by choreographing new dances each week for the girls for competitions, just days after they’ve learned the new material.
Learn. Allow your mistakes and others’ mistakes to serve as a lesson, and take steps to keep them from happening again. Also learn from triumphs so you can continue to progress. The constant change has kept Abby’s dances fresh and has sharpened the dancers’ ability to quickly learn and pick up new choreography. Her dancers never stop learning new jumps, turns and combinations. They’re constantly learning, whether it’s from their mistakes when they forget their dance in the middle of a rehearsal, or they take home another national title from an outstanding performance.
Listen. Listen to your role models and mentors and find out what it is that makes them so special. What is it about them that makes them a standout, and how did they achieve the position they’re currently in? Find someone who inspires you and invest time in talking, listening and learning from them.
Stay ahead. Always try to stay one step ahead of your coworkers and clients. Anticipate your clients’ wants and needs before they even consider any of them. Educate yourself constantly and stay updated on the latest trends in your industry, so you stop delivering stale campaigns, ideas and programs, and start offering new, fresh ideas. Try new things and take risks that can benefit you, your company and your clients. Offer to take on difficult projects. This will help you bring the “shine” to your work and demonstrate the value you offer. On Dance Moms, Abby is sure to educate her dancers not only on the latest and greatest in dance, but also on Broadway shows, theatrical work, musical instruments, and singing. She is also always encouraging the girls to create and try new tricks, to be sure their technique and dances are fresh, inspirational, and superior to their competition.
Learn how to self-motivate. Find what you’re passionate about and figure out how to keep yourself motivated. Everyone has stressful days at work, but if you can self-motivate, you can get through any storm. Discover your self-worth and don’t let your fears paralyze you. Motivation is a key to success, so if you’re not fully satisfied with your life and career, take the time to figure out what it is that’s holding you back.
Embracing and encouraging change, learning, listening, staying ahead, and remaining motivated, will make it hard for your boss to want to replace you. Don’t just settle for mediocrity and serve as another body in the office completing your daily tasks. Always yearn for more, strive for excellence in every aspect of your life, and continue your journey toward reaching your goals, because remember… in the wise words of Abby Lee Miller, “everyone’s replaceable.”