• shane@countryexec.com
  • Seguin, Texas
Blueprint To Leverage Thought Provocation For Professional Growth

Blueprint To Leverage Thought Provocation For Professional Growth

If you have worked for or around me over the past several years you’ve undoubtedly heard numerous quotes expressed within a professional context. Some poignant, others probably not so much. I am drawn to thought provoking phrases to the degree that for years I have kept a running list of favorite excerpts that have resonated with me by way of a virtual notepad accessible on all my devices. You never know when you’ll hear the next words of wisdom that may hold value down the road. Words that resonated have served as my blueprint for thought provocation and professional growth.

Thought provocation professional growth

Thought Provocation To Professional Growth

“How you do anything is how you do everything” is a favorite quote I reference often. I don’t recall when I first heard the phrase, but it has stuck with me for years. A Google search will tell you the origins are not truly known but it likely possesses roots in Buddhism. I am married to a Buddhist, but prior to meeting her I possessed a natural inclination towards Buddhist thought. Perhaps this is why the phrase captured me as it did several years back.

When I speak those words today, the message I am trying to convey is that regardless of the criticality of a task how someone goes about completing said work speaks volumes to their character. The life experience gained managing employees for half of my professional career has taught me that people are who they are, and the natural characteristics an individual possesses tends to reflect outwardly on a consistent basis. I do not view this as a good or bad thing, I believe it just is. 

Professional Development

That’s not to say an individual cannot take the initiative and force positive change upon themselves. They absolutely can which is effectively the primary assertion of my blog. I am enamored with the power of the mind and the ability to overcome.

Left to their own devices however, natural tendencies are by definition a pattern in how one approaches life and the subsequent tasks that comprise one’s daily responsibilities. Habits in other words. To break a cyclical action, quite often we must step outside of our comfort zone and force change to purposefully divert energy towards the goal we have set for ourselves.    

Work Ethic

I have been working in technology for almost a quarter century. Despite having lived through it seems outlandish to me that so many years have passed. I was fortunate to receive a head start with my career via my Air Force enlistment. Barely out of my teen years I found myself in England being tasked and entrusted with completing telecom infrastructure related activities in support of military intelligence endeavors in Europe. I was a long way from East Texas for sure! 

Over the years I have met many people that are smarter, more successful, and better at name just about anything. That said you will have a hard time finding someone that can commit to the degree I will. I have been fortunate with many things in life, perhaps nothing holding more value than my work ethic. As a young Airman trained up on the finer points of telecom technology, I took great pride in the service I performed within the scope of my assigned responsibilities.  

A very young Country Exec
A very young country exec

Telecom Art

When tasked to integrate telecom into a new facility I can vividly recall it being important for me to run and terminate the cabling, wires and patch panels as skillfully as I possibly could because future techs would observe and utilize my work performed at building demarcation points for many years into the future. My name would be associated with the finished product for the entirety of its existence.

I would go so far as to install d-rings, the hardware utilized on a plywood backboard to run cabling through, in intricate patterns. Typically the straightest, quickest, or easiest path to getting the job done is how most run cabling. I have always cared about the presentation of my work.

I wanted my finished product to be telecom art. You may find a signature or three in RAF Molesworth comm room backboards. Even to this day. How you do anything is how you do everything means taking pride in your actions and responsibilities. Your professional persona is reflected in everything you do, even the most mundane of tasks. 

Thought provocation professional growth
Take pride in what you do

Time Cards

Several years ago, I asked the manager that first promoted me into a leadership role why he chose me out of what I felt to be a strong staff of technology professionals. He told me it was because he never had to ask me to do anything twice. He referenced something I never would have guessed mattered to him as much as it did. I was a government contractor at the time. Working under a federal contract that had a seemingly infinite number of charge codes we had to properly encapsulate our works hours into.  

It was complicated and convoluted to say the least. Evidently so much so that my manager spent a significant amount of his time chasing after my coworkers to enter or correct their hours. He greatly appreciated the fact I entered my time correctly and when I was supposed to. That small, seemingly uneventful action led to trust. That trust eventually resulted in professional empowerment by way of a steady stream of career advancement opportunities.

One could argue that my being an executive today is fundamentally based off the fact that I entered my time card as I was instructed to do. Success can be attained via an odd path at times. I can’t help but roll my eyes when reflecting upon my first steps toward professional leadership being rooted in an unnecessarily complicated time card process. Life, go figure.  

Professional Awareness

It’s easy for us to overlook various aspects of our personal and professional lives. We focus on the big items and often bypass the smaller less noteworthy ones. It can be a task as simple as taking out the trash in your office. Or remembering to put away the tools you were just using.

We’re taught to think big. I agree with that sentiment but not to the adverse impact of overlooking something else. Fact is when you take ownership of your professional existence by applying awareness to the physical and virtual methodologies that make up your work, you will stand out among your peers.  

Professionally speaking the pattern must be established. If you invest the time and effort eventually you will become known as the employee that keeps their workspace neat and one that is reliable and accountable resource for your organization. Don’t allow your surroundings to dictate your circumstance. It can lead to empowerment, even better it can lead to trust. When you are a trusted professional resource you begin to take ownership of your career, and when that happens you put yourself in control of your future. Until next time thank you for reading, and please take care of yourself and the ones you love! 

The Country Exec thought provocation professional growth

14 thoughts on “Blueprint To Leverage Thought Provocation For Professional Growth

    • Author gravatar

      These were awesome tips to read! Thanks for that!

    • Author gravatar

      Great tips shared here! Thanks!

    • Author gravatar

      Nice writing! A lot of blogs are not written well, and I enjoyed this one.

    • Author gravatar

      Really inciteful, and I love that quote! It’s great to hear the thoughts of someone who has had years of managing so many people in a professional environment – it’s rare to be able to hear the thoughts of someone so introspective with this kind of experience, thanks for the great read!

      • Author gravatar

        David, thank you for taking the time to read the post. You have quite the interesting story yourself, what you’re doing with your fitness blog is fantastic and truly motivational! I recommend anyone looking for inspiration to take that next step in their personal fitness journey check out http://toptipfit.com/.

    • Author gravatar

      Great article. I was not a born leader, infact I had the opposite qualities … But working in a professional environment, believing in myself and learning from my peers helped me. When I was promoted to a leadership role as a data scientist I wasn’t sure if I should happy or scared. But I have been hanging in there tight … I am a new blogger too and saw your post on blogging for new bloggers … Feel free to share your thoughts on my new blog about how Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree helped me further my career as a Data Scientist https://bit.ly/31jlmy

      • Author gravatar

        Congratulations on your promotion into leadership, I hope it is everything you wanted it to be! Guiding others to be the best versions of themselves is a very rewarding part of what I do in a professional capacity, when you help employees evolve you are in essence establishing a legacy of leadership. I’m glad you mentioned your peers as I have had the good fortune to have incredible mentors through the years that helped me define my personal thoughts on leadership, I would not be where I am today without their guidance. Continue to lean on those you trust and those you feel you would like to emulate as you grow into your role. Thank you for your comment and best of luck to you with your own journey!

    • Author gravatar

      Great read! Love your writing and the ability to grab the readers attention!

      • Author gravatar

        Thank you Lidia! I subscribed to your blog as I am always interested in the paths that lead individuals to their profession of choice, particularly when that path leads to technology. Best of luck, I suspect coding may be a lucrative decision for you!

    • Author gravatar

      What a refreshing and interesting read for an otherwise bland (no offense) topic. While I appreciate the point you are making (taking pride and care in whatever you do/paying attention to the details, etc), I appreciate even more how you were able to keep my attention the entire time…which, not only validates your post’s point but makes me want to come back and read more in the future. Thanks!

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