How do you feel about being an LRU?

Ahmadou DIALLO ✪
3 min readMay 4, 2020
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

If you are like me, when you have a flat tire, you head directly to the garage and get a new one.

The only differentiation for me on which tire I will choose generally is the price.

A tire is what we call an LRU or Line Replaceable Unit in the aviation industry. Basically, it is equipment that you will remove from an aircraft and replace it with a new one.

This can go as big as an engine that you can swap from two aircraft, for example.

Now let’s imagine that you are comfortably sitting on your seat, the aircraft is ready for take-off. Suddenly, for unexpected reasons, the pilot calls sick.

How will you feel if we ask anyone in the plane to replace the pilot and fly the plane?

I will be the first to get out of the plane in that case.

What makes the pilot unique and so valuable that he cannot be swapped so easily?

Well, the pilot is bringing a lot of value to the table that makes her/him a valuable asset to all the people on the plane.

Today, in a lot of companies, everything is standardized and we have processes for everything, all of this in dehumanized open spaces.

This begs the question of what makes us unique in this context?

If we reflect on this kind of environment, we can see how the system is trying to make us Life Replaceable hUmans aka LRU.

Then at the end of the year, we are evaluated with the same standardized grid, and we are expected to be different.

How can a systemic standardized system produce variety?

I focus on my 3 “S” that I call my 3 Spheres of influence to develop my uniqueness:

  1. Strategy
  2. Story
  3. State of mind


I have worked on myself to develop a unique strategy, a set of rules, a code of conduct that is the cornerstone of all my interactions with people and events that can happen, whether or not I have control over it.

For every situation, I don’t react, I act. I am not a thermometer, I am the thermostat. I am the one who always sets the temperature in my…

Ahmadou DIALLO ✪

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