Why this billionaire fired his dedicated assistant and how you can become fireproof


Why this billionaire fired his dedicated assistant and how you can become fireproof

When I first heard the news that Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla and Space X fired his executive assistant after 12 years of dedicated service, I was shocked, devastated and heartbroken to the point that you’d have thought I knew her one-on-one.

I put myself in her shoes wondering how I will feel if after working conscientiously with my boss for 10 years, I end up getting fired.  I would feel very bad.

This news made me go deeper to uncover the story behind the story.

According to reports, it happened that Elon’s assistant approached and asked him for a “substantial” salary increase.  Her reason for asking for this increase was probably because she felt she deserved an increase.  On the contrary, when she asked her boss for an increase, he responded by telling her to go home for two weeks so he could assess whether her role was truly contributing to his progress or not.

Two weeks went by fast and this woman came back to the rudest shock of her life.  Not only was her request for salary increase denied, she also had to contend with the fact that her services were no longer needed.  Although Elon, denied reports that he fired his assistant after asking for a raise, evidence suggests otherwise.

How to become fireproof

Showing up every day at your duty post does not guarantee that you’ll become fireproof, stepping up your game will increase your chances.  In order to become “fireproof” anywhere you find yourself, you must be a force to be reckoned with.  Being a force to be reckoned with however does not happen suddenly.  It is something that you plan for and are intentional about.

As someone who craves excellence, one of my core beliefs in order to become a force to be reckoned with, you must go beyond ordinary wherever you find yourself.   Elon’s assistant failed to do this and in the report I read, it was noted that Elon told her the role she occupied for 10 years now require a specialist.  Whatever that meant, it didn’t and still doesn’t sound good.  I can infer from the statement that he no longer wanted a generalist, he wanted people who have upgraded themselves.  As painful as this might sound, the reality is that for you to be “fireproof”, you must have something that differentiates you from others.

This past week, I had a personal experience.  A mentee reached out to me asking about chatbots.  Another vendor had reached out to her promising to help her install chatbots and also charge her for monthly maintenance.  I was able to provide her real-time answers and suggestions based on my knowledge of chatbots.  Can you imagine how disappointed she’ll be if I had told her, I’ve never heard of that?  As a business owner, you must constantly update yourself about current trends and events in your industry.  You do not want to wait until your customers are the ones breaking the latest updates about your industry to you.  It not only looks bad on your image, it also waters down your brand.

Also, another crucial thing to note is “what got you here will not be the only thing required to take you there.” 

Yes, Elon’s assistant was showing up at her duty post every day and completing the tasks assigned to her at work but she lacked initiative and foresight by failing to invest in herself and upgrade.

When last did you upgrade? Are you still using only the wisdom you acquired Before Christ (B.C.) to operate in the After Christ (A.C.) era?

My friend, think again!!

See, if you are going to become “fireproof” at work or in business and life, you need to continuously hone in on your skills.  Your transcript might read first class but are your results reflecting the first class consistently?  Having a first class without consistent first class results becomes irrelevant over time.  To continuously stay relevant, you must continuously upgrade so you can produce first class results!

In addition to continuously upgrading yourself, you must also ask for feedbacks.  For example, if you are an employee, do not wait until evaluation time before you ask for a feedback from your boss and if you are self-employed, do not wait until you lose all your customers to competition before you ask how you may better serve them.  Feedback results can sometimes be painful to bear, but in order to remain relevant and be a force to be reckoned with, you must upgrade yourself and ask for feedback.

Do you feel you are relevant?  What are you doing to stay relevant?  Leave me a comment or a question below. I will personally respond.

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  • avatar
    Bukola Adepeju
    September 8, 2017

    Great post. A reinforcement for me to push on with my current college enrollment.
    Good job, Thanks.

    • Oluwaseun Akinlotan
      September 8, 2017

      Thanks, sis. Yes please keep pushing so that when the time for having to choose between choosing you and another person comes, you’ll be the obvious choice. All the best

  • avatar
    Christiana Nwogu
    September 14, 2017

    Great piece. Real food for thought. This reinforces: stay relevant, stay on top of your game, know your stuff. Thank you Ma.

    • Oluwaseun Akinlotan
      September 14, 2017

      Thanks so much for stopping by sis. I appreciate you.

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