Strategy 1 for Keeping Your Job

Is your boss hungry? If your job is on the line you must make the decision makers hungry. What do hungry people do? They eat. Dinner is served. And you better be serving something they want or you will be sent back or in these times, sent packing.

For Star Trek fans, the analogy is to be Scotty, the Enterprise spaceships’ chief engineer. Whenever the ship was about to blow up, Captain Kirk would ask for, “More shields (or power), Scotty.”

Scotty’s reply was never ‘no problem.’  Rather,

Scotty would say, “I dunnot (Scottish accent) know if I can do it Captain.”

Captain Kirk: “We need this up in 10 minutes.”

Scotty: “It will take at least 30 minutes.”

Next scene we see, the ship is saved, once again. Scotty is a hero and lives (keeps his job) for another day.

Just a movie and TV show? Of course, but survivors make themselves indispensable. When your boss discusses issues this is not the time to say ‘no problem’. That may sound strange since most advice would be to think you should say, “Yes, sir/ma’am.” You certainly don’t want to alienate anyone, but your contribution should be positioned as key to the survival of the organization, now and in the future. You must make them hungry (without being obnoxious or foolish) and you are the only one who can feed them. If it really is no problem you are expendable sooner rather than later.

To make them hungry, you must now be adaptable, you must be the one who allays their fears of failure.

Your Advantage-Maker skills must be exercised and refined.

Shift time to produce urgency for your contribution.

Shift interaction to change the game from your need to the company’s need.

Shift perception to take on a winning mindset and influence perceptions to see you as the go to player who can multiply your value to the company.

Shift structure to shape behavior, reducing wasteful inefficiency and cumbersome conflict, this will align and advance the organization for speed, simplicity and ease.

Your talent and contribution matter. Don’t forget about quenching their thirst and giving them a dessert as well. Anyone who doesn’t think that people aren’t spending on sweets in the recession hasn’t looked at how waistlines grow in times of stress.

I wonder if you are hungry for knowing how to influence your boss, if so that should confirm that creating desire is most important for you to learn now.