It has been my experience as we train fellow Patriots in CQB that most cells/teams/tribes are comprised of one or two people who serve as the heart and motivation and glue for the group. Without this person the group loses focus and begins to drift. Without this person, usually, essential skills are also lost to the group. Our groups tend to be very small and shallow as regards the depth of the talent pool. Losing a key person with key skills can be addressed by serious cross-training. But losing that person who is the natural Leader of the group or the natural Heart/Soul of the group, opens the door for demoralization.
I chose the Alice in Chains song above because I like it. I chose the group Alice in Chains as a larger example - Cantrell and Staley could be considered the Heart/Soul of the group. The skills of each are complementary and in many places over-lapping. But it is a losing argument to say that Staley (his worldview, his perspective, what he brought to the group, his voice) was a generic widget and easily replaced. In the case of Alice in Chains the group was fortunate they have Cantrell, a powerful personality, who was able to keep the group together. Indeed, because of the work Alice in Chains had done in the world, the respect they had cultivated, when they found themselves without the iconic voice of Staley, they were able to stay together and continue on their journey. When James Hetfield is willing to drop by and take Staley's microphone, even for a moment, you have a viable Plan B. (Here's Hetfield singing Would live with Alice in Chains).
If you are the Heart, Soul, and/or Leader of your group (you know in your heart if you are - drop any humility when you talk to yourself), then please embrace your mortality and understand that if the group is to survive and prevail in your absence, you have work to do now. You are not bulletproof. You will die or be taken out of the fight at some point. And what is coming our way is about much, much more than merely "the fight". If you are the glue and motivation of your Team, you need to be the one who prepares for your ultimate absence.
I invite some of our .mil guys - those of you who have had the responsibility of holding your men together, keeping morale and cohesion together in the face of losing members of the team in ugly situations - to write a piece on this topic.
If you are the natural Leader in your group, I would suggest you begin to inspire others to lead in your absence. Consider being this guy, and inspiring others to do the same:
Nope - that ain't Phil Collins...
Yeah, I've got the headphones on today...
But the topic is serious. Have a Plan B. If your loved ones will rely on the group even after you are dead, it behooves you to make sure the group will not fall apart when you take a knife in the neck.