Pressure Makes Diamonds

Pressure Makes Diamonds

Pressure makes diamonds! Think about it. Diamonds are made of carbon so they form as carbon atoms under a high temperature and pressure; they bond together to start growing crystals. … That’s why a diamond is such a hard material because you have each carbon atom participating in four of these very strong covalent bonds that form between carbon atoms.

Under Pressure

I work for a publishing company. Just the other day, I visited the “ad placement board” at work in our sales & design department. I wanted to see how we were handling our sales and ad copy deadlines for December.

The wheels hadn’t quite started turning yet and we were suffering from a little “slow motion”. At the end of the year, my sales team is under a lot of pressure to round up all the revenue we can in the remaining days of the year AND meet early holiday deadlines. I picked up a dry erase marker and wrote across the top of the board, “We Are Awesome!” As I placed the marker back in its holding spot I mentioned we seemed to be waiting to the last minute on sales and deadlines. That’s when a co-worker said to me, “Pressure makes diamonds!” He was right. How true that statement is! That describes my sales team. They amaze me with their brilliance and clarity each month of the year. Many of us produce our most valuable work when we are under pressure to do well and do it quickly.

Mercury Rising

It never fails. When my boss asks about our revenue and where we stand for the month…I can feel the mercury rise. This is indicative of my internal body temperature rising as I boil inside, because whatever number I give, it won’t be where he thinks we should be at the time. Although, we pull it out in the end. It’s the rising of my internal thermostat that spurs me on. As soon as he leaves my office I start “checking” our revenue numbers. Also, it makes me “think outside” the box and reach for ideas that hadn’t been thought of before the conversation. I try to remember that when my temperature rises, so do my ideas.

Today’s Crystal – Tommorrow’s Brilliant Cut

By the definition above, a crystal is only part of the way to the formation of a diamond. It takes some more work to make that diamond form, and even more work to polish and cut it for brilliance! So, do I tell my sales team to quit once we have achieved that magical monthly revenue number? Nope!

Instead, I encourage them to strive for further brilliance, clarity, and cut by driving revenue upward, until we have run out of seconds and the last deadline is beyond our grasp. Aaahh! That brilliant diamond is such a prize.

It Takes More Than One Atom

When a diamond is forming it takes carbon atoms forming four covalent bonds to actually produce a diamond. What does that mean? It means that the work is not on the shoulders of one covalent bond (or one team member). As sales and marketing director, I am amazed at what my team works together to do each month without fail. Also, I feel truly blessed to have these talented, hard-working people near me each day. Just being a co-worker with them has taught me more than I ever thought possible. So you see, it takes a team working together to produce a diamond.

Are you under pressure? Is your temperature rising? Are you just a crystal right now? Surround yourself with people who care and understand you. Make sure they have the same goals as you. Then, hang in there, because you are on your way to becoming the most brilliant diamond you can be!

Until next time…keep running on Concealer & Caffeine (my blog)!


Paula B. Owner/Creator

On Key

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