Monday, November 5, 2012

What Fuels Me Most

Medtronic’s Vice President of Research & Technology, Becky Bergman, visited the Tempe Campus on Friday and gave an hour lecture to the SWEnet* chapter on “Strategic Road-map For Technical Women To Excel in the Executive Field.” One of the lists she had created in her presentation was a slide titled “What Fuels Me The Most” and stated how she needed to stick to those principles in order to feel accomplished and happy at the end of the work day. That thought was challenging to say the least. We all say we know what motivates us and what gets us out of bed (umm – annoying alarm clock getting us up to earn a paycheck) but do we really know? And are we really living up to those motivating fuels? I think not.

Along with that question, it helped me align to a question I was posed with a few weeks back – what my values are and how are they ranked. All this time I thought work was everything to me. Excelling to be the next Becky Bergman by the time I’m 30, with my free time consisting of a harsh workout at LA Fitness. But when I was asked to rank my values- work was number 6 on a scale of 1-10! Astonishing to say the least. So as I personally answer what fuels me, I now recognize how they link to my core values.

Healthy Family
Family is and has always been everything to me. I know of no one else really. My core family consists of my mommy, my four brothers, one nephew, three nieces, our desert turtle and three best friends. And I realized this past year (better late than never) that when one of those amazing people aren't at their best, I am not at my best; although I don’t admit it right away. Therefore, a healthy family fuels me because if their feeling well both physically and emotionally then I am confident they’ll continue to be there for me to fall back on.

Confident Self
This was harder said than done – honestly, you don’t hear that phrase often. Being confident is about knowing what the next move is and not only knowing it by owning it. It also means I am reliable to my family and peers and will be looked upon because I can deliver. (Key Competency of Trust “Get Results) Whether I’m wearing my three inch heels or flats, standing with my head up straight only means that I can conquer the world and do it standing by my values. When I wake up in the morning with the cliche thought in my mind of “I can do this” it really does get me out of bed and that positive attitude only creates a snowball effect of greater things to come. So remember to cherish yourself and put the confidence back in yourself to drive only the best results!

Motivating Team
Nothing sparks success more within your organization like a motivating team. As a technical supervisor, one of my key tasks day in and day out is to ensure my team is motivated and empowered to take on the world. I never thought I’d have thirty (yes 30!) direct reports before I was 26 but I’ve grown so much by asking them the right questions and pushing them to take on their passion. Honestly, when their motivated to close the next big project or solve the lurking problem, a successful rush runs through me that I cannot even describe. Along with that annoying alarm clock at 4:30AM, knowing that there is a team waiting to see their smiley, caffeinated supervisor, I cannot second guess hitting that alarm clock more than twice ;)

So the next time your alarm clock goes off at 4:30AM or you badge out of your company’s alarm clock at 5:50PM, think about what you accomplished and how it made you feel. Think about how closely it was linked to the gasoline of your life. 

*Medtronic Tempe Campus recently kicked off a SWEnet chapter, at which I am currently serving on the committee as Chairperson for On-Boarding.

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