A box of rocks may not look like a source of inspiration for your own leadership journey, but the long journey that those rocks took in order to be made can offer us a reminder of our own continued growth. 

Today we are going to find leadership in the three main types of rocks and learn how our own leadership is molded and formed just like the rocks of the Earth. 

Leadership in Sedimentary Rocks

Formed from layers of sand, silt, dead plants, and animal skeletons

A little bit of this and a little bit of that; layers all together are what make up a sedimentary rock. It starts as one thing, (Clay, sand, other rock) and is transformed as more layers and pressure are added on top of it. 

It’s easy as you reflect on your own leadership style to see the correlation to sedimentary rock. You’re probably a little piece of several prior leaders and mentors that you have had over your life. As long as you stay open to be a continual learner and continue to grow your experiences with others, you have a consistent flow of new layers to add to your leadership for your entire life. 

It’s fascinating to think about how layers in leadership from your past help to take on new layers in the present. Think about your interaction with your current boss and team and reflect back on how all your previous leaders influence who you interact with your current people. One day your current team will be another layer as you interact with a totally different team and supervisor. 

Leadership in Igneous Rock

Formed from melted rock deep in the earth.

Change, change, change is the name of the game when it comes to igneous rocks. This type of rock typically starts off as a liquid because it’s so hot and then cools to form a new rock. Think lava flows and how they turn into rock fields. 

Leadership is about embracing change. You are constantly leading yourself and perhaps a team through constant change, and there are going to be times when you’ll need to meltdown aspects of your leadership so that you can rebuild yourself in a stronger and more relevant way. 

For many new leaders going from doing to leading is an igneous moment in your personal leadership. You’ve got to let go of many things that you may have enjoyed doing in the past in order to lead your team well. What do you need to melt down and let go of in order to grow? Be brave and courageous to take those steps in growth in your personal and professional life. 

Leadership in Metamorphic Rock

Formed from other rocks that are changed by heat pressure.

Metamorphic rocks start as any of the three types of rocks and are changed again due to extreme pressure and heat. As you continue in your leadership journey, you’ll encounter metamorphic junctures that will be extremely challenging. Think of these events as tentpole moments that fundamentally change your leadership once you make it through them. 

As I reflect back on my own journey so far, my metamorphic moments are a mix of loss, setbacks, but also great things like promotions, and life changes. I was fundamentally changed from the loss of my mentor and father figure, two instances of employees suddenly passing away and other instances of personal and professional grief. I also had to fundamentally change my leadership as my opportunity to lead in a larger way grew.

What have been some of your metamorphic moments? Are you going through one right now? Know that those moments are just that……moments. If you handle the pressure and the heat in a healthy way you can come out with something beautiful on the other side. Marble is a great example of what can come out of the metamorphic process.

It may not seem like it, but rocks are ever-changing. Continue to add layers of influence and perspective to your leadership. Melt away things that are holding you back and embrace those heated and high-pressure moments that will make your leadership stronger as a result. 

Make a better tomorrow.