That was the nickname I received while on a two-week business trip with a group of coworkers.
During those two weeks, we spent a lot of time huddled around a conference room table cranking out computer code. At some point early in the trip, one of my coworkers, Roel, decided we all needed code names like they had in the movie “Top Gun”.
I got the name “Thunder” because I “bring the thunder”.
You see, I’m a person who likes to do things strategically. I like the way Niel Nickolaisen defines strategy as “what you use to do more smart stuff and less stupid stuff”. So, one of my biggest pet peeves is being required to do stupid stuff.
Can you relate?
So, during those two weeks, my coworkers got to hear me rant about the stupid stuff I saw us being required to do. When I rant, I can get quite animated.
That’s where the nickname “Thunder” came from. Roel classified my ranting style as “bringing the thunder”.
The nickname didn’t stick much beyond that work trip. In fact, I can’t think of any other situation where I’ve been called “Thunder”. But I had a little epiphany recently that brought this nickname back to mind and gave it a whole new significance.
You see, I didn’t let many people see me rant back in those days. If I hadn’t had two weeks to develop camaraderie with my coworkers, they might not have seen it.
I had learned to keep my opinions to myself for the most part because of my past work experience.
You see, I had “brought the thunder” before, and it was not appreciated. It was while I worked for a manufacturing company that did a LOT of stupid stuff.
One day, I was tasked along with another engineer to supervise the assembly of a prototype design. The factory worker doing the assembly was scratching his head while staring at the parts with a bewildered look on his face.
He was quite competent at his job—in fact he was specifically chosen for this assembly task because of his experience. Only problem—all of his experience was with assembling designs of a completely different style. So, understandably, he was confused.
The lack of experience didn’t stop there, though. The engineer who designed it had no experience designing the style. The workers who built the parts had no experience with it. The shipping clerks had no experience packaging it. And to top it all off, there was no way to test the final units to make sure they were good before sending them to the customer.
This was the third prototype and the first two didn’t meet spec. The deadline to produce and ship these units was fast approaching.
The engineer standing next to me said “this one has to work”.
I knew what he meant. With the looming deadline there simply was not enough time to redesign and build another prototype.
But I had to bring the thunder.
I said “No, it doesn’t have to work!”
He said, “What do you mean? It has to work!”
I said, “Until we do everything necessary to satisfy the laws of physics to ensure it works, it is under no obligation to work just because we need it to”.
The other engineer just looked at me in astonishment.
You see, the stupidity of the situation seemed obvious to me. When you commit to doing something you don’t know how to do, within a timeframe that doesn’t allow you to learn how to do it, you shouldn’t be surprised when you fail.
That wasn’t the only time I brought the thunder on that job. I spoke out often about what I thought was stupid.
I didn’t last long on that job. I was forced to resign.
Although I was relieved to no longer have to work there, the experience left me with some scars. I was far more reluctant to speak out.
That meant many times I bit my tongue and went along with stupid stuff.
Well, since 2016, I have been on a journey of remembering my authentic self. It started with the question “what kind of beast are you?” One beast that describes me is the brontosaurus. I just remembered recently that brontosaurus means “thunder lizard”.
That’s why the nickname I received during that business trip has taken on a new meaning. It was like a message to my subconscious to encourage me to speak in my authentic voice. Sure, some people will be repelled by it, but others will resonate with it.
I try to remind myself every day that I am a brontosaurus so that I don’t stifle my true voice. After all, how can you hide a brontosaurus?
One of the ways I remind myself I am a brontosaurus and not to be afraid to “bring the thunder” is by wearing this t-shirt. Check it out.
I encourage you to let your authentic self out as well. You may find that like me, you are powered by the “thunder lizard”. Whatever your authentic superpower, let me help you find it. I have a FREE 3-day video challenge that will show you how to find it step-by-step. Just follow the link, enter your email address, and I’ll send the challenge right to you.