Old Faithful, the famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park, is a landmark that earns its name. According to business blog Entrepreneur, it can also teach us a thing or two about being a better employee with a simple tenet: be reliable first, impressive second.
Photo by Yellowstone National Park
It's no secret that doing a big, outstanding project is a good way to impress anyone. However, if you can only pull that off once every month or two, yet fail in your everyday duties consistently, you're likely to be passed up for promotions or raises. In the same way that Old Faithful draws the crowds for being predictably good, rather than occasionally awesome:
Old Faithful is consistent and unbelievably reliable. Visitors to the region know within a short range (plus/minus 10 minutes) when the next eruption is going to be. Park rangers at the Upper Geyser Basin update Old Faithful's sign after each eruption.
The Beehive Geyser, on the other hand, resides just a hundred yards or so from Old Faithful often discharging higher into the air while spewing twice as long as Old Faithful, but it only erupts every eight to 24 hours.
On a tight vacation schedule who has time to wait around that long?
Of course, that doesn't mean you should be consistently mediocre at your job. Proving you have value to a company is the best way to get recognised. But the way to do that has less to do with blowing everyone away on huge projects that burn you out, and more to do with being consistently better at your job than other people.
Strive to be the 'Old Faithful' of Your Company [Entrepreneur]