Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Staying Afloat

Today I had a rough day of strength training and then challenged myself to a Pilates video I found on Netflix. I couldn't move for hours and my back was more than sore. I kept with my productiveness by taking my mom to her doctor appointment then treating her to a manicure pedicure and then dinner. She thanked me and I said - might as well take advantage of this moment while I'm still single. I got home and the pool was calling my name. Not only did I do laps back and forth but wanted to try some of the Pilates' moves in the pool. I then tried balancing myself to get to float a certain way when it hit me - when you do too much, you'll sink. The key to focusing and success is finishing what you started or doing value added tasks that link you to a goal, so you feel accomplished. Not only did I try just floating on top of the water, but I wanted to try leg exercises and extend my arms but I couldn't for the life of me stay on top of the water.
When looking back over the years, I had a tendency to be overconfident. Thinking I could conquer the world. "Overachiever," they would murmur under their breath and now I'll be lucky to achieve at least one of my goals. I'm taking a minute to write this as a lesson that when we stop to exercise, our mind clears up to the craziness of work and school and family. But it provides clarity to realize the important things and ask ourselves "am I doing the right the thing? Am I happy? Do I feel satisfied and successful today?" So I am just re-iterating the fact that exercise is good for the mind as it is for the body. For me, it helps me leave my body to reflect on some of my inner weaknesses while building on the muscular strengths.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Devotion = Satisfaction

If you can sit back and reflect at the end of the day what it was that satisfied your needs, how often would the answer include fulfilling someone else's needs? Being an industrial engineer, quality used to mean being statistically within control but that isn't good enough when you're in the medical industry. Quality now means delivering the best functioning ICDs, pacemakers or any other medical device for our patients. 

When the human element is added into the equation, it changes the perspective at which you function and execute to your day to day activities. I've matured in the last two years by being more self-less and asking questions like "what's best for you." And then doing whatever it took to get as close to their desires as possible. The most rewarding part is how even though I may not have full-filled his or her need, the gesture and efforts put into trying is sometimes just as good. 

Last week one of my direct reports forgot to fill in her time card. The old/immature me would've grumbled about how it's a simple task and they should've done it. But that day I had more information. I knew something major and more critical things were floating through her mind. So I spent the extra minute and filled it out for her so she would receive a whole paycheck the following week.

Lesson learned: Instead of gripping on why something wasn't done, I stop and observe the situation. Could this person be going through something outside of work that is more pressing than a simple task? What's the impact that this task wasn't done and should I be worried that she missed it? Is it a trending delinquent item? If the answer is no, than move on. 

Devotion to me is ensuring Quality is met. Being committed is not only to achieve the Quality I defined above but being accountable and personally affected if it isn't met.

So at the end of the day if i feel satisfied, it can only mean I was committed to meeting my Quality mission for our patients. I am fortunate to have had my eyes open to understanding what the bigger picture looks like and the overall impact to being satisfied or dissatisfied at the end of the day. I am still learning and growing but feel as if i'm on an upward slope. 

The best part of my day today was reviewing my team members success and recognizing them for their accomplishments. I had a smile on my face when I reviewed goals met by my direct reports - because I can feel their devotion and commitment to Quality and that's what satisfaction has become to me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tima's library

Books I've found beneficial. Recommendations welcome!

Speed of Trust
The Goal
Leadership and Self Deception
Good to Great
The Servant Leader 
Reality Based Leadership 
Viral Change
Creating Breakthrough Innovations   
The Loudest Duck
7 Habits of Highly Effective People 
One Man’s Life

Dave Goldberg's Recommendations
@deg511: Check out Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, The Four Agreements, and Instant Happy.

@Lyons_Timothy: @ferakat87 I would also highly recommend "The Oz Principles" - getting results through organizational accountability.

@Lyons_Timothy: @ferakat87 "tribal leadership" , stage 4 , great book on building leadership skills

"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey — reminds us to cherish every moment because they'll never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived." capt Picard

“Reality provides us with facts so romantic that imagination itself could add nothing to them.”
― Jules Verne
“It is a great misfortune to be alone, my friends; and it must be believed that solitude can quickly destroy reason.”
― Jules Verne

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Broken Escalator

Some team members say they're stuck. Most of the time it's because they don't see the goal; the end result. If one action doesn't work, by knowing your goal, you can easily figure out a different step to take.

Take this simple example:

You decide to treat yourself to a weekend in Vegas. There are only two ways driving from Phoenix: Through Wickenburg, and Flagstaff. You plan to take the Wickenburg route until you hear about massive road blocks due to construction.

If you didn't see the goal (Get to Vegas) you'd cancel your trip.

By saying, we're going to Vegas this weekend. HOW else can we do this? Someone suggests Flagstaff. Someone suggests Southwest Airlines.... Regardless, you don't cancel your trip and miss your goal because of road blocks. You find another way.

Don't stop because your escalator broke. Seriously, man.

It's Just Noise

Sometimes you need to ignore the signs. They could just be noise to the direction you're really supposed to go in. It dawned on me how sometimes we try to piece together all the signs that seem to fall into our laps. But in actuality they can sweep you off your feet in a negative way.

 I remember the time I was in a stand up one on one with my manager to provide a project update. We were discussing the barriers I thought I had (different story) when suddenly a Post-It flip chart sheet started peeling off the wall. I stopped mid-sentence to try to catch it and he said 'no.' Confused I turned back to him, slowly eyeing the paper when he continued "wow- it's really bothering you that you can't fix it" and then it fell completely to the ground. "it's just noise. It has nothing to do with our conversation or anything else I can think of yet you had the urge to fix it." it's just noise- I try to remind myself of that moment and statement constantly.

 Everyday we get caught up in so many activities that aren't related to our end goal. They end up being the tasks that drain us. Frustration. Exhaustion. Dissatisfaction. Feelings that arise from not being accomplished. And I was taught that we lose that feeling of accomplishment when we don't finish the plans or projects that we start. To keep this short, noise can be deadly. It can fool us and quickly pull us off the tracks. 

So remember, don't go and try to save every poster that starts to peel off the wall. Put that time and energy in the next value added item on your list to reach your goal.