Friday, February 1, 2013

Raising the Bar, On Yourself

Like most people, I'm sure, I end up tired after a long week. Typically that manifests here with a more light hearted view of the world from a Friday perspective. The weekend is nearly upon me and I look forward to a bit more sleep and enjoying the daylight hours. Topics tend towards the fun I am anticipating or the final push through the work week to get there.

This week is only slightly different in approach. Yes, I am looking forward to sleep and with the
Superbowl on Sunday there is sure to be some fun. As I look back on my week though I am struck with a thought. I seem to have raised the bar on myself recently.

What I guess I really mean by raising the bar is that I appear to be holding myself accountable for doing more and doing it better. Rather than just breeze through a difficult conversation yesterday I was prepared and took the points directly to the person in a caring but firm way. I found out later in the day from his manager that he seems completely rejuvenated. Earlier in the week as I coached D1 through an interview, I didn't just rattle off some advice I actually sat with her on the phone and helped craft responses and organize her strategy and approach. In our strategy meeting yesterday, rather than get defensive when the subject turned to improvements in my department I took in information and used it, rather than rebutting to make an even deeper discovery for the group around resource allocation. Later that day my CEO and I had a very productive discussion about a candidate in which we executed one of the ideas from our meeting. When D1 and I spoke earlier this week I suggested that she come to my office on Friday to work on cover letters. I have a busy but executable schedule today and so rather than dropping it, I knew she would not follow through, I brought it up again last night and she is coming in today. As a side note I will also save Mary a trip driving in to give D1 her printer which she stated earlier she now needs in her dorm room. I have it with me today and will make the hand off. Finally I got home last night to a very happy D3 who after we set aside time last weekend and a few nights ago to study her biology scored a 93 on her quarterly exam. The reward of her smile and sense of achievement was well worth the push I made during those study sessions to be with her and keep her engaged.

2013 is a very important year for me. The work goals are high, and I need to demonstrate that last year's efforts were not just the result of a resilient market. I need to prove that I am truly the catalyst of growth and have the ability to move our organization to outperform. I need to do this for both the part of the organization I control and those that I can only influence. The transition to adulthood begins for D1. She needs to get a job for the summer and start planning out her approach to career. I have to be there for her, in the trenches, doing the work with her, showing her what the world expects and helping her deliver it. I need to be centered with Mary helping more since she is working full time. I have to find points of intersection, travel getaway ideas and time for just the two of us and then execute against them.

We are off to a great start this year. I need to write down my goals and perhaps share them here for the first time. I need to continue to execute and not shy away from the difficult for it is in these moments that I both raise the bar and achieve my best.

And that makes me happy.

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