In part I we discussed the Rainmaker approach; part II we discussed the The Company you Keep strategy; today let’s tackle the Mariano Rivera/Luis Sojo approach.
Mariano Rivera is the closer for the New York Yankees and has held this role since 1997. The closer of a baseball team is charged with getting the final outs of a game, usually in a pressure filled situation. Many closers have a dominating stretch of games or be virtually un-hittable for 2 or 3 years, Mariano Rivera has done it for 13 years. What makes this even more amazing is he has had thirteen years of success throwing one pitch – his cutter. Every batter knows what pitch will be thrown, but few can hit it. Mariano Rivera has become the leading expert on the cutter and closing out baseball games.
One way to make your job a bit more secure is to be an expert within your office on a particular skill/technology/aspect. Are you the only one who knows how to generate reports from the CRM software? Are you the only one in your office who can speak Japanese – and your big client in Tokyo does not speak English? Becoming the office expert in a core aspect of your organization’s work can help make you more valuable, and thus less likely to be laid off.
So what if you do not have the IT or language skills? Consider becoming skilled in multiple areas of your organization’s operations – become Luis Sojo. Luis Sojo played on five World Series Championship teams, but never made an All-Star team and averaged only 70 games per year (out of 162). How does a player who bats .260 with no power, playing only 70 games per year make a 13 year career in major league baseball? Luis Sojo was the quintessential jack-of-all-trades. He played every infield position, left/right field, and I am sure he probably could pitch and catch if he would have been asked to do so. Luis Sojo was an indispensible cog because he was so versatile in his abilities.
Knowing more about the various aspects of the organization is a good idea as it will make you appreciate the inner workings of larger organization Additionally, if you can do the jobs of others, when cuts need to be made, management will see that you are a utility player who can fill multiple roles within the organization.
Being the office expert or the utility player can help you stay on the team long after others have been let go.