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Mike Goodner
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I've been fortunate to have many positive experiences as both a mentor and a mentee. As a mentee, I've had mentors willing to point out areas where I need to improve as well as recognize the strengths I have, even those that I don't realize that I have. I've also had mentors that are willing to point out disconnects - when minor projects and tasks have become temporarily more important than much more important priorities (family, colleagues, team mission) so that I can make the best decision which considers both the short term and the long term impacts. Only through this ongoing feedback am I able to truly step back and make an objective assessment of the impact that I have had, am having and am planning to have (or may unintentionally have) in the future. And as for the future, some far sighted mentors have helped prepare me for roles that seemed far off (like making the transition from individual contributor to leading a strong team) so that when the challenge finally presents itself, I am ready. Mentoring others has also provided a number of benefits, just proving that mentoring is a two-way exchange, not a mentor to mentee download. Mentees provide me a second perspective that helps me understand how others view me, and how they view the organizations and situations we find ourselves in. Having mentors from other countries has helped me to become less US-centric and truly appreciate the diversity among cultures and the benefits that diversity can bring. And seeing a mentor grow based upon guidance and feedback that I have given them helps reassure me that I am making a difference in people's lives, not just in the organization's bottom line. Being able to be a mentor to others and being mentored by some truly wonderful mentors is indeed a blessing in many different ways.
Toggle Commented Nov 6, 2013 on We All Need An Alfred at Friday Reflections
We have to remember that the only way we waste an experience is if we don't see how it influences our larger goals and dreams. Not every experience will take us forward, but there are always lessons we can take with us (such as calligraphy --> computer fonts).
Hearing Lola's story and knowing of her battle and her strong will has been inspiring. Those who knew her well and close to her have indeed been fortunately people. I'm glad she has found rest, although the world will be dimmer without her.
Mike- Well said. Often we approach problems from a "that's how we solve it around here" point of view. It takes leadership (from a manager or an individual contributor - either can do it) to take a step back, look at the problem in a different way, and come up with out-of-the-box but usually simple solution. Thanks for this reflection!
This situation also leads to commitment - when there are too many options, it sometimes leads to indecision ("analysis paralysis"). But when you have "no options" if often leads to more decisiveness and commitment, which usually spawns success.
Thanks for keeping up the reflections! The variety of topics and the occasional repeat keeps the mind nimble digging into them. Congratulations of 25 years of telling stories with a purpose!
The flip side of this is assumed accountability - even if you didn't have a hand in the initial problem, if you see it, you fix it. Or at least take the problem to someone who is equipped to fix it.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2010 on It's Not Our Problem ... at Friday Reflections
Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens when many companies try to adopt Lean principles based upon the previous success of other companies that have employed it... rather than spending a significant amount of time studying and understanding the fundamental principles Lean is based upon, and then adapting them to their own company in a way that makes good business sense.
Toggle Commented May 5, 2010 on Going Lean? at Friday Reflections
The extension to this is not only understanding what you have in your hands, but acting on it. Like Cody's failure to give the boss the information, many companies refuse to act on early warning signals and instead ignore the information or continue to analyze it until it's obvious to everyone (Toyota had sudden acceleration issues as early as 2003; Sony had information about the risk of laptop battery failures almost a full year before Dell computers started catching on fire; Ford and Firestone knew far in advance of the risk of tire failure...)
Not only is passion important for doing what you do well, but it takes strength and courage to recognize when you aren't following you passion and to take action to fix it!
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Mar 12, 2010