Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Career Lessons from Del Potro's win against Federer

Sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro, in his first Grand Slam final, stunned defending champion and top seed Roger Federer to take the men's singles title at the U.S. Open in New York.

The 20-year-old Argentinean ended Federer's five-year reign at the U.S. Open.

How could this have happened ? Upon being interviewed for National Public Radio's program "It's Only a Game", Del Potro's coach was asked (I'm paraphrasing here ) "How did Del Potro get this good?" His response was "with great effort, and much passion".

There's a huge lesson here folks. Del Potro's coach did not say "he was born with great talent", or that "he was coached by the best", etc.

Great effort, much passion. That's what it takes to succeed in today's economy. That's what it takes to set yourself apart from the hundreds of people that applied for the same job that you did.

Michael Jordon was not born with the vertical jump that set his name into basketball history. Del Potro was not born with the ability to dethrone Roger Federer. They worked for it, with great effort, and much passion. Their effort, sweat, and passion made them stars.

Great effort and much passion can make you a star as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Becoming Uncommon

In his New York Times bestseller, "Quiet Strength", Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to victory in Super Bown XLI, said the following:

"Some Players are uncommon because of their God-given natural abilities, like being blessed with the height of Yao Ming or the vertical jump of Michael Jordan. Others have to work to become uncommon. Steve Kerr of the Chicago Bulls shot five hundred free throws a day to make himself uncommon. The truth is that most people have a better chance to be uncommon by effort than by natural gifts. Anyone could give that effort in his or her chosen endeavor, but the typical person doesn't, choosing to do only enough to get by".

In the current economic environment in which we look for new employment or work to advance our careers, "becoming uncommon" is an absolute necessity if you hope to "stand out from the crowd".

What are you willing to do to "become uncommon"?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Perfect Job

My perfect job would need to involve work that really adds value to a company and that makes a positive difference in the lives of the employees, or the company's customers, or both.

My delight in working with company subject matter experts and customers would be satisfied by the up front work to create requirements documents that clearly outline the problem to be solved and the system architecture to deliver a solution. Hopefully the solution would take advantage of my strengths in database architecture and in programming languages. If the answer also involves mathematics, text parsing, networking protocols, or Web site construction , so much the better!

If the company and it's customers agree that a proof of concept phase would be in order, this would bring me much delight. I've done this before and this work always brings me challenge and satisfaction alike.

Once all the stakeholders agree to move forward, the execution of the development, test, qa, and production phases, in concert with close customer involvement, would of course bring much satisfaction to all involved.

The "jewel in the crown" in this case would be a happy customer, a happy manager, and a programmer that is stopped in the hallway of this company months or years later by a co-worker that says "Glen, I really enjoyed working with you on that project we did together."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carpe diem

Carpe diem is a phrase that is usually translated as “seize the day”. In these turbulent economic times, taking the attitude that one should make the most out of whatever opportunities come our way helps us to stay energized and positive as we navigate through our career path.

With the current chance I've been given to expand on the skills that I've developed over the past years in Database Architecture and in Programming, I intend to take every opportunity to seize upon new avenues for designing systems that will make a positive impact on the company and it's employees, and that will last.

To Wit, "A new beginning"