Hello to everyone who's a fellow fan of the Manager Tools podcast!
Just discovered Manager Tools (all podcasts in general really) a few weeks ago, have to say I'm loving it. I'm certainly not a manager at the moment, just hoping to be one in the future. More details on my motivation follow, I'm afraid this turned into a long posting :D
Thanks to some aggresive parenting, I graduated from college at the age of 20, in 2005. Caltech, B.S. in Engineering & Applied Science: took classes that would help me understand "how things work" and learn how to make new things.
I've been working since for a medical technology start-up company. The company is developing a device that will provide custom, sterile wound dressings to patients with chronic wounds. For the first year or so I was working for a first-time manager, who was managing our engineering team of five (2 of whom he used to be peers with in previous engineering companies). To say the least, I was not impressed with his management skills, and I have some true horror stories I may share later.
Eventually our company successfully developed a prototype that we began installing in wound care clinics for trial testing, to determine how our machine would fit into the workflow of patient treatment. I had the opportunity to go to a clinic at the UCLA Medical Center for a five week trial of our machine. There I was able to get feedback from the nurses as well as interact with a lot of potential partners for the development of our company's business. The problems of business and marketing were much more interesting than the next mechanical bracket we had to design for the machine.
I decided to try and get more involved in the business side of things, but I was met with some impressions that people were thinking, "what's this engineer doing asking me about this, he should be back working on his computer." Even to the point where I was told I wasn't going to be able to look at the business plan for our company. So I decided to go back to school and get some more background on business plans, etc. Also, after working I realized how great it was to be in a situation where all you're required to do is LEARN! When I was in school, all I wanted to do was get out and start working, how dumb was that?
Found a unique program that combined aspects of a business school with technical work as well, the only program in existence for something called a Master of Bioscience(you can see more at www.kgi.edu). I ended up negotiating to the point where I am now the only student in the program who won't be paying any of the $37,000/year tuition (pretty rare for a professional school I gather).
Now I'm heading back to focus on the Business of Bioscience and entrepreneurship. I'm planning to start a technology company some day, and realize that people skills are what I want to develop the most. In lieu of a mentor (I certainly didn't want to use my initial manager for this role after he sent out an email to our engineering team at 4PM on Friday afternoon telling everyone they'd be coming in on the weekend to help meet the next deadline...we were only sitting about 15 feet away from him!), I'm listening to Manager Tools podcasts as much as possible and now starting to read the forums.
A lot of the podcasts I've listened to so far have strengthened my opinion about why I go to work, and why I think we're here on Earth in general: [b]To interact with people.[/b]
Anyways, I guess I should wrap this up, as it's getting fairly long. Soon I will take some online DISC evaluation so I can add a cool signature block to my posts with "7 - 7 - 7 - 7" in it.