Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Growth and Success

My thoughts may be somewhat random today, written over a period of time between other duties at work. Last night I worked until 10:30 PM, breaking from 6 to 7 PM for supper with my mother-in-law. The urgent need was the utility drawings and specifications for a road widening project in Bentonville that our transportation group is designing. Another department had designed the utility improvements and prepared the drawings and specs, and our Transportation Dept manager took me up on my offer to check them. I began that late Monday afternoon, but decided to hit it hard yesterday and not leave until I finished checking the drawings, leaving the spec for today.

I did this because our TransDept manager, Greg, seemed particularly stressed out over this. He was handling the stress well, but I could see that he needed some support to get his project out. Greg is one of the good ones, wanting always to do things the right way. He and I have had many conversations in the two to three years he's been here, always centering on doing engineering the right way. So I offered to check this part of his construction documents. I enjoy doing quality control checks, so the work was enjoyable, if somewhat intense.

Why did I offer to do this? Part of our CEI vision statement says, "...we are committed to the growth and success of each other." Last week we had some special leadership training concerning "corporate culture", and the vision statement was the star of the show. So it was fresh on my mind. What exactly does that mean, "we are committed to the growth and success of each other", or, personalizing it: "I am committed to the growth and success of others [in the office, in the family, in the community, at church, etc.]?

Why trying to fully grasp this statement, I figured it at least mean, "I will assist a colleague who is under the gun and who is having to use staff not under his direct supervision and who may or may not know what they are doing." That's an easy application of the principle to actual practice.

I notice that no one ever seems to do that to me, to put themselves out for my "growth and success". In fact, it usually seems to be the opposite. When I need a CADD tech (since I am not CADD literate), department heads seem to disappear into the cubicles. When I need help modeling a creek, people make commitments then say they never so committed. When I ask for reviewers of a new guide specification, or for someone more knowledgeable than myself to actually write the document, people forget how to read e-mail, though they sure recognize the function of the delete button.

Alas, this is the way of the world. I'm not sure why I'm surprised at that. I guess I'm not surprised at all, just saddened by people's lack of vision--our specific vision statement.

As I said, today's entry is somewhat unfocused and rambling.

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