Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Colin Powell: Inspiring

There were some great speakers at the Get Motivated seminar yesterday. Of course some were promoting their latest book or training:

“Normally $10 Million dollars but today for YOU, it’s only $49.95!”

Still, I had a good time.

Colin Powell is always a great and inspiring speaker. He stressed the importance of leading when you are a leader and supporting those under you. I really like his 13 Rules of Life:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, and then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done!
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn't let someone else make yours.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
A leader has to make the hard calls and take the arrows when they come.
A few years back, I made a decision which cost my company a lot of money and time. I was the subject matter expert for test and repair on a certain product for Eaton Corporation. I pushed to change component vendors from the new cheaper one, back to the old more expensive one. This push was based on problems we were having with the product after the change:

After researching the old and new vendor’s components, our testing equipment, testing processes, and repair process, I believed the problem lay with the new vendor’s component. So I fought to get the old vendor back. After we switched back, I found out that I had received incorrect data from an engineer who wrote one of the testing software systems. It cost the company money and time to switch back again and I had egg on my face since I had pushed for the change.

Ok, the outcome was bad, but the decision was right! Why? I had performed due-diligence and proper research. My decision was based on the data I gathered, though some of that data turned out to be incorrect. Maybe next time I’ll grab the engineer by the collar and say

Are you SURE that your testing software hasn’t changed?

And then make my recommendation. But, when it’s all said and done, I’d still have to make a decision. For better or worse, I like the way that Dr. Robert Schuller puts it:

"I'd rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed"

Now go out and do great things.
Mike Snyder

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Certain Death! Maybe...

Every now and then I really miss those crazy TATURS! They recently had over 200 people at the Lake McMurtry Trail Run. Great job Ken and Brian!. For reasons unknown (I suspect drinking contaminated water from Turkey Mountain), Ken Childress was rumaging around a compost heap and found a technical diagram I had drawn of the infamous "Leap 'O Doom!"

He obviously thought that putting my brilliant specification on a T-Shirt was the best way to help keep runners safe from certain death! More likely though, he had to get SOMETHING to the T-Shirt printers at the last minute and grabbed a random file he found.

Either way, the shirts looked great! Unfortunately for me, Diana bogarted mine!

Love the big "LEAP O' DOOM" text on the shirts! Points out that the LEAP is the most colossal, monumental and gut wrenching 2 foot, er I mean 64.7 foot jump you will ever make! At least in this race. Highly underrated in my opinion...

Anyway, they had a great race this year as Trail Zombie wrote about in his blog and I wish I could have been there to run it again. As always, a few got off course though the course markings are really just a matter of perspective:

"This course is marked so well Ray Charles couldn't get lost!"

"Who marked this course, Ray Charles?!"
"Seriously, was it Ray?"

In the end though, they had a great time and everyone enjoyed themselves which is what I really love about trail running. Later TATUR!

- Now go out and do great things.