Wouldn’t it be nice if you could anchor yourself so deep into the fabric of the organization that you work for that you become immobile?
It’s no easy task, and there will always be elements out of your control. However, by learning from one of my favorite geological wonders, the volcano, we can give ourselves better odds to hang on to our gig.
Here’s how to be like a volcano.
ACT LIKE LAVA
Lava flows until it fills every crack. When it comes to your company, you should be identifying voids and doing your best to fill them. This will help you become “one” with the organization, hence laying the foundation for the future – just like hot molten lava.
BIG & POWERFUL
You can chop down trees, relocate entire houses and tear down stadiums. But one thing you’ve probably never seen is anyone taking down a volcano. No one f*cks with the volcano because they can’t. You want to put yourself in a similar spot, and since growing another few feet isn’t an option (even with advanced steroids), you need to find a way to wield power without size. You should set goals to make small gains that quietly accumulate over time. Get involved in as much as possible, be constantly negotiating for information and play nice.
BE WILLING TO ERUPT
A volcanoes threat of eruption, even if it hasn’t done so for thousands of years, is enough for it to earn respect. When the time comes, you must be prepared to fight a battle at work. You don’t want to be feared, but you want to be respected. Remain dormant and steady, but be sure people know that you will erupt if you have to.
Volcanoes don’t have to worry about wearing a suit and tie every day but they sure look snazzy! The lesson here is to carry yourself well and look good every single day. No excuses. Even when it rains. Even if you haven’t done laundry in a week. It’s an inevitable fact of life that the day you slack on the dress code, you WILL bump into someone who can make a difference in your career.
BE A BRIDGE
Volcanoes occur where tectonic plates are diverging or converging, that means they often connect two locations that wouldn’t otherwise “meet.” Much like you want your lava to fill the gaps, you also want to be sure to liaise with as many departments as possible. Be the connector that brings stuff together. This will raise your value at work and make it harder to get rid of you when the first round of layoffs go down.
Hotspot occur on the Earth’s surface in areas that have experienced active volcanism for a long period of time. This means that volcanoes leave a trail of evidence of their passage as they drift. Just like you want to leave trail of all of the good you have done at work! Simply doing the work is often not enough. You also must make sure upper management understands what was involved. This requires good communication on your part and the ability to toot your own horn. Don’t be scared to tout success when it happens on your watch.
Be like the volcano and you could save your job. Just don’t be extinct!
That’s all I’ve got this morning. Now it’s your turn. Are there any other lessons we can learn from volcanoes when it comes to our career?