As a child, I always enjoyed math and science and naturally gravitated to engineering, following my father’s advice and also in my brother’s footsteps. The pursuit of an electrical engineering degree was a challenge for me. I realized it was less about the subject matter and much more about the gratification I’d get from the achievement. That parallel has been true of my career. I didn’t necessarily set out to reach a particular position or level but rather to be fulfilled in my achievement. Early on, I connected my happiness with delivering value to others. Like most people, there has been no set path to success, but rather a series of opportunities and choices to be thoughtfully considered.
My greatest achievements are not those where I stood alone, but rather those accomplished by a team of unique perspectives and skills to make the remarkable happen. This happens when the standard is set high and the team believes it can be done. I learned from one of my greatest mentors that delivering excellence is power; not power over people or organizations, but rather power to fuel people and organizations to achieve the impossible.
He also taught me that I could reach much further than I thought if I simply set the bar higher and relied on the varied perspectives and skills to provide the how-to. He repeatedly demonstrated confidence in me and then set the bar high. This pushed me to think broader and drive further.
In my career as well as in my personal life, I derive satisfaction from giving to others – my family in particular. The demands of a career can certainly challenge being all you want to be outside of a professional life. I have found that being deliberate about priorities and choices is the key. Just as I establish how to invest time at work, I also do the same at home. I’m not striving to be superhuman, but rather rely on people to help get it all done. Perhaps most important is to be present and thoughtful in the moment because you never get those moments back.