Becoming Extraordinary

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Own it and Move On

Sometimes I struggle to understand another’s perspective or even that they have a perspective different than my own.  Sometimes I rush to judgment of another before considering my part in the situation.  Tempers flare, valuable time is wasted.  You want to keep digging it up like a dog digs up a bone.  You really, really, don’t want to let it go.  It’s at these times I need to remind myself to own it and move on.  Take a breath. Step back.  That finger you pointed in accusation? Put that thing away.  It’s not easy but it sure is simple, and like anything else it’s a skill improved with practice: own it, and move on.


Service and the Ethic of Reciprocity

January 22nd’s Daily Gratitude* [reproduced below] features service-minded people; people at all levels of an organization who live the Golden Rule.  Every interaction with a person puts a coat of cordiality on the interaction, makes that moment, that hour, that day a little better.


*Daily Gratitude Post 1/22/15:

[I’m grateful for] service-oriented individuals.  I love them — people whose mission on the job is to be responsive to the job at hand.  People who don’t put off or refer, just cheerfully get it done.

Who I want to be when I grow up


Expressing a concept I found worthy of gratitude on my daily gratitude post for 1/20/15* [reproduced below], I realizes this is directly related to the concept of executing work as a chess game which I think about every now and then.

When I was a kid, my dad taught me chess. I haven’t played in years; in fact, my last game might have been as a child at home with Dad as my opponent. But the skill and mental process of the game has served me well throughout my professional life – always be several moves ahead.  Be agile.  Think through the possible alternative scenarios. Don’t be afraid to consider the unexpected or bizarre.

A chess board is a friendly battleground; a battle of wits, mathematics, and creativity.  Sun Tzu’s concepts are fundamental to success there.

*From Daily Gratitude 1/20/15:

Ran across an article today discussing shiny objects for the sake of shiny objects.   In the article, The Art of War by Sun Tzu was quoted:

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”  Apt. Very apt.  Searching for an image, I found more context, which added another dimension to the concept.

sun tzu

This is just great stuff.  Take a minute to ponder the next time you are trying to accomplish a long-range goal by performing a long-range action.   It’s like trying to swallow an elephant whole.


Sometimes the best way to improve your daily and long-range productivity is to just stop.  Step away.  Get out of the office with someone you can talk to, and talk it out.  I do this regularly with different people whose opinions and perspectives matter to me.  It’s very different from meeting in a work environment; having a conversation about a puzzling issue at work outside at a picnic table or in a mom-and-pop cafe is invaluable.

For the same reason, I take mandatory (mandated by me) daily walks.  No matter what is going on indoors, I come back refreshed and ready to go.

So take a walk, grab a cup of coffee or lunch.  You’d be getting coffee or eating anyway – make it a productive time-out.

Professional Development

I think it’s important to keep learning — new soft or hard skills, the next level of higher education, exchange of expertise from peers, seminars or conference sessions by professional or networking groups, webinars, one-on-one coaching, and a host of other opportunities to gain knowledge that helps one improve professionally.

Just as beneficial to one’s development, though, is teaching or coaching others in a skill.  Each exercise of teaching another or others, I have found, any skill at all, will give me one or two aha! moments of my own.  I think we who have the opportunity to instruct others in any skill or technology learn just as much, if not more sometimes, than our students do with each repetition of the class.  Each class gives at least one but often many new perspectives into the subject.


In December 2014 I celebrated my one-year anniversary in my current position.   I enjoy my work; I enjoy striving to exceed expectations — to anticipate needs, to be one step ahead.  I think the people I work with deserve no less.

About Becoming Extraordinary

My goal and passion is the pursuit of excellence in my job.  I aspire to being remarkable.

May I never be complacent.

May I never stop learning and growing.

May all my interactions with others — internally and with customers, vendors, and stakeholders — be courteous, cheerful, and improve their day.

Although I am human and will fall short at time, may I always work towards the best possible result – the brilliance and perfection of exquisitely cut diamonds.




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