There are a few times when life simply amazes you. On August 17, I had one of those moments that impacted my life in such a way, that I hope readers of this article may deduce something valuable through my experience.
August 17 was the day I was to become president of SHARE. When waking up, I thought about the challenges and opportunities that were ahead. I didn’t know how I would accomplish everything I needed to do. I simply told myself to serve unselfishly and do my best. So, I started the day by looking through emails. My wife sent me an email which profoundly impacted me, and in doing so, I hope it positively impacts you. Below are snippets of the email that I believe, upon reflection, can make us better people, friends, colleagues and leaders.
When striving to change something:
“Surround yourself with integrity, advocates, tangible goals and courage. Take on the challenges and make effective change. Don’t change just to change. Don’t be submissive just to appease. Don’t demote your values just to get by. Look at what needs to be actually accomplished next week, the week after, and one year from now.”
What if we, “Guardians of the Mainframe,” were to take this, and apply it to our daily professional lives?
When learning from your mistakes, and moving forward:
“Understand your limits, understand your strengths and don’t be fooled by stumbles. Is it a little problem or a big problem? Is this a hard moment in time, like a 5k where you can barely breathe but know you can handle it, or a hard 50k, where you must pace yourself and make smarter decisions to survive? Remember that people will always be difficult, but the good ones will admit it and move on. That goes for yourself, too.”
When conducting yourself:
“Most of all, be yourself. You didn’t get here because no one likes you. You got here through hard work, a truly wonderful personality, and a cheerfulness that is contagious. People will want to see that even more now. Show them you can do this.”
Professionals that work in Z are incredibly smart and influential. You are all here because of your hard work. You succeed where others have often failed. My mentors always said if I wanted to work in something else, I would be successful. The reason was that if you learn Z, you can learn anything else. Although I need reminders of the wisdom stated above, I’ve found these lessons are inherent in our mainframe culture.
Together, our organization can do amazing things and I hope these reminders will help in some small way. Know that SHARE will be part of the solution and not the problem. On behalf of the Board of Directors, we all look forward to serving the organization.