Forums

Hi. My name is Rich Ruh.

I thought I would start a thread for conference attendees to introduce themselves. Some of the information here I entered when I registered, but only Mark and Mike will see that- I thought others might find it interesting or useful as well.

I work for a software firm in Fort Collins, CO. Our company is fairly small, only 130 people, but we are part of a larger (about $500M revenue) firm, based in Seville, Spain. We provide asset, work, and outage management solutions to the utility industry.

My title is "Director of Software Engineering". I currently have 11 reports, 1 of whom has 3 reports of his own.

I discovered Management Tools last summer, and have been an avid listener ever since. I've been doing O3 meetings with all of my reports since August, and they've been, almost without exception, a spectacular success. I'm still struggling to get better with feedback and coaching.

I'm still in the process of listening to Mike and Mark's series on the DISC model. So far I [i]think [/i]I'm a "High D", but my wife is a psychotherapist -- so let's just say I have a lot of practice communicating with people who aren't...

Some random bits of probably-meaningless information:
- I've been learning German for 4 years
- My second favorite podcast is "12 Byzantine Rulers"
- I'm a former computer programmer (but you probably guessed that)
- I'm a telemark skier

Hmmm... did that last paragraph negate what I said about being a "High D"? :o

I'm looking forward to learning more from Mark, Mike, and the others attendees at "the pilgrimage".

mauzenne's picture

Rich,

Thanks for kicking this off ... GREAT idea!

Looking forward to meeting you at the conference.

Everyone, if you have any questions on the conference, here's the place to ask!

Mike

livlab's picture

What a great idea to put this event together - I'm really looking forward to it.

My name is Livia Labate, I manage the Information Architecture and Usability team for Comcast Interactive Media (CIM) in Philadelphia, PA (USA). CIM provides online and new media services to other Comcast organizations, most prominently in the high-speed, digital voice and cable businesses.

CIM has close to 200 people and Comcast has over 80,000 employees, which means I have a great deal of clients. To get the job done, I manage 6 direct reports on staff and 10-20 consultants at any given time.

I came to Comcast mid 2004 after a decade of solo consulting in information architecture because I wanted to experience the challenges of a large organization. My main goal was to learn why my consulting clients struggled so much in their own organizations and why I couldn't solve some of their problems as an external agent. It has been a very enlightening experience so far, specially in what it means to be a manager in these two different contexts.

I've been listening to Manager Tools for about a year and recommend to ever manager I know. My favourite take-aways have been the Feedback Model and the One-on-One sessions, which helped me create a much more effective and efficient rapport with my team.

See you in April!

JohnGMacAskill's picture

Hi, I am John.

I am a 39 year old manager. I am now a Director of sales and responsible for change (LEAN), strategy and communication in a Scottish based engineering company.

I have been managing for just over 10 years and have made PLENTY of mistakes. I have managed engineering design and creative teams, shop floor operators and now sales.

The open and honest bit now: I accepted the directorship 18months ago and became a bit obsessed with delivery and/or execution. I have always been a good strategy guy, but wanted to be someone who delivered. I spoke to many people, read many books and I came upon an answer...be effective! I know it sounds simple, it is when you realise it.

So I found GTD (David Allen), Drucker and Manager Tools and I now know I am going in the right direction. I am improving, using O3's and GTD principles (but fall of the wagon at times), etc. But I also have a huge way to go...so much that I will probably spend my entire career improving as a manager. And that is great to realise.

I am really looking forward this event...see you all there.

mauzenne's picture

John/Livlab,

Thanks for joining in and sharing your backgrounds. The more I learn about the folks attending the conference, the more excited I get (as if THAT is possible).

See you in April!

Mike

trandell's picture

Greetings all. I am a mid-level manager in a financial services company, responsible for some engineering efforts and three direct reports. I'm a long time student of management and leadership always on the lookout for new information and ways to take my performance to the next level. I believe good management is every employee's right and I work hard at living up to my end of the deal.

I've found MT to be the single most helpful resource in my constant cycle of self-improvement. I have turned a few people on to MT at work and I am working on selling their attendance at the upcoming conference to our boss.

I am looking forward to meeting everyone, spending two days learning great material and returning to my old stomping grounds.

MattJBeckwith's picture

I have never been this excited about a management conference before (looking back at this post makes me smile now - [url]http://www.manager-tools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=31[/url])!

I manage a customer service and sales call center for a financial services firm, with about 140 people. Although I have always done O3's, they have become much more effective since I began listening to M-T (I started listening in Dec '05).

I am very excited to see this stuff in person and spend a couple of days with other M-T'ers.

This will be my first trip to the DC area, but all I care about is this conference!

madamos's picture

Hi, I am Marc.
I just completed my registration for MT conference, and I can't wait until April.
I'm fortunate that my company considers this part of our mandatory skills enhancements, so they will pay for everything. Otherwise I would have had to convince my wife that we should pay by ourselves.
I am bringing at least one other person from my company along with me.

I am a Manager at DoubleClick, working in the IT department. I have been a manager for a little more than 5 years, but I have never had any formal management training. It has all been from books.

I have been listening to MT for 8 months, and while I currently don't have any direct reports, the tools provided by Mark and Mike have been useful.

I look forward to meeting everyone at the conference.
See you there.

Marc Gluck

JoeFuture's picture

Great idea for a thread!

I'm Jason Barile and I'm a Software Test Manager at Microsoft. I was a team lead for about 8 years and took on a "manager-of-managers" role about a year ago. I run a team of 20+ fulltime testers and 15 vendors offsite.

As for DISC, I believe I'm a high C/medium S, but I'm looking forward to the conference to learn the model more thoroughly. I work with a team of high D developers, and I've been enjoying learning about the DISC model and tailoring my communication appropriately.

I wish I could bring my whole team along to the conference! Looking forward to meeting everyone.

citius's picture

Hello, I am Paul and I am 43.

I have been a second line manager since May and was a first line manager for three and half years before that. I started my career as a software developer and grew to be a software architect, developing my strategic vision and "big picture" skills along the way. My leadership ability was supported by my technical expertise and credibility (and most notably not my people skills).

I came to management reluctantly, not having had a very high opinion of it at the time. I have since found it to be a challenging and noble profession when performed well and am in awe of those who do consistently perform it well.

When I was a first line manager, I was effective because I was managing the team on which I had already worked for several years. As the already established "alpha geek", I could be effective simply through pace setting and working hard.

When I became a second line manager, my entire team and responsibilities were new to me. Pacesetting was no longer an option. I had to quickly learn the proper ways to manage effectively. Thankfully, I discovered MT in time (last June) before anyone knew that this emperor had no clothes on :wink:.

I worked for the same mid-cap company for 7 years until it was acquired by IBM this past October. So, in addition to learning how to be fully effective as a second line manager, I am also trying to learn how to be effective in a very large company.

Without a doubt I am a high D (and likely now a high I), but my wife is a high S and so are both of my managers, so I try very hard to modify my behavior to not add unnecessary stress to their lives.

My outside interests have changed significantly over the last few years. My first child was born three and half years ago. So, family is a big priority. In addition, I lost most of the vision in my right eye about three years ago. Since I was right eye dominant (and therefore left-brained) at the time, this has caused a significance change in how I experience life as the injury resulted in my right-brain becoming dominant. My tastes and values have changed significantly over the last three years. However, I still love to play poker. Only now I enjoy it because of the challenge in reading people (versus the challenge of the math). I quickly grow bored of playing online.

One of my greatest weaknesses is consistently and successfully managing the difficult relationships with other (typically gatekeeper) groups: the ones that fail to deliver on their promises more often than not, the ones that refuse to negotiate to common ground, and the ones that refuse to acknowledge any responsibility when things go wrong.

My other great weakness is procrastination. It is not that I do not get my job done. It is that I often will avoid performing unpleasant tasks (those with emotional components or very detailed work) as long as possible. The end result is that I complete the work at a sprint shortly before the deadline. I feel the quality of my work then suffers, which frustrates me deeply.

Most, if not all, of my missteps stem from these two weaknesses. These are the areas I am most invested in improving.

I am really looking forward to comparing experiences with my fellow managers in April.

madloop's picture

Hi everyone - I'm Garth Dawson
I'm from New Zealand but now living and working in London, England.

I own a small advertising agency called Korero which has been growing up for the last 5 years. I have been listening to your podcasts, Mike and Mark, from very close to the beginning and they're just great - you've been my gym partners for the last year and a bit.

Your advice has been invaluable for me in leading, managing and developing the great team of people I hang out with every work-day.

I was doing one-to-ones (as we call them) pretty badly, but your model gave me better focus and reinforced some of the ideas I'd stumbled upon. I still struggle with delivering feedback properly, and the coaching is going well.

I happen to be running the Boston marathon on the 16th, and when your email came through about the conference I jumped at the chance - it just fits in perfectly with what I'm up to. So I'll be the one hobbling around for the first day.

It's great when a good plan comes together: Boston, the marathon, Washington DC, Manager Tools Live! and then a weekend in NY.

Looking forward to seeing you there,
Garth

sholden's picture

I just got confirmation from my training department that my attendance has been paid, and I am very excited about this conference.

I have been listening to Manager Tools since July 2006 after I got repeated recommendations from my podcast cohorts at FriendsInTech.com.

I am currently based out of San Diego and working as an Information Technology (IT) manager for a Dept. of Defense computer system. I have 26 people reporting directly to me handling all aspects of a comprehensive system life-cycle for an IT system.

I've been successfully doing 1on1s since October 2006. Since I have such a large team, I do half one week and the other half the following week. This means you should not try to schedule a meeting with me on Thursday. I'm permanently booked that day from 8 am until 5 pm.

I am looking forward to meeting other like mind managers and learning as much as possible during the conference.

Steve

MattJBeckwith's picture

[quote="madloop"]I happen to be running the Boston marathon on the 16th, and when your email came through about the conference I jumped at the chance - it just fits in perfectly with what I'm up to. So I'll be the one hobbling around for the first day.[/quote]

Wow, that's amazing, talk about great timing! Best of luck in Boston; I can't wait to hear how you did.

frago's picture

Hi everyone,
My name is John and I'm an IT supervisor in a biotech company in Northern California. I have four direct reports and four contractors with a dotted line to me.

My team is responsible for hardware and application support for our validated computer systems (i.e., the ones the FDA looks at when they come to inspect us). My DiSC profile is high "I", moderately high "D" which can sometimes be a challenge since I'm surrounded by high C's and one high S. I'm convinced that sometimes they think I'm nuts.
On the other hand, my high "I" has been a great benefit in the last year as I've been trying to raise my team's visibility and so I've been leveraging (and growing) my network.

I'm anxious to get better at coaching since I think I'm only so-so at it and Mark piqued my curiosity with his career management advice scheduled for day 2.
I agree with Dave that I've never been more excited about a management course! I can't wait until April.

Here's looking forward to meeting all of you.

Cheers,
John Frago

(4,7,2,1)

grayanna1's picture

Hello everyone - I am Terry and just signed up for the conference a few minutes ago. I will be coming from a meeting in NYC which will provide me great opportunities to network internally with colleagues from around the world and I am looking forward to some "external" networking with all of you.

I work for a large Clinical Research Organization (CRO) and currently have 5 direct reports with wide ranging amounts of business experience. I discovered M-T over the holidays and what a great Christmas present!! I do not believe in luck and so I consider M-T a great blessing for my professional and personal life. In the short two months I have been using the information that Mark and Michael provide I have been more effective.

I am more a high S and ocassionally a high I. I will need to get my D in high gear before the conference given Mark's and Michael's profiles and the posts I have seen here thus far and I am looking forward to it!!!

Regards, Terry

mjpeterson's picture

Hey Terry, I am a high S as well. We'll both have to leave our more reserved selves at home and come in with some extra energy. Although that should not be hard if you are as excited about the conference as I am.

A little bit about myself. I am an engineering manager at Utility Engineering a power plant design company. I have 4 direct reports. I recieved an Ipod for Christmas and found MT within a day or two. I'll have to say it has been one of the best gifts I have ever gotten. If I had known how much I would be using it and all I would be learning I would have got an Ipod or MP3 player much earlier.

I started doing O3's the 3rd week of January and convinced my boss to start doing them, at least with me last week. I am actually going to make the conference part of a little vacation so my wife will be flying out on Thursday night. That will make up somewhat for missing Valentine's day for a last minute work trip.

MattJBeckwith's picture

[quote="grayanna1"]I am more a high S and ocassionally a high I.[/quote]
Don't be afraid to embrace your inner "I"!
:wink:

DinaHenryScott's picture

Hi everyone - I'm really excited about attending the Effective Manager Conference! I've been a big fan of Mark & Mike's for over a year and even though I am a Project Manager, so much of what they share is very applicable to PM's. I've been a Senior PM at Vision Service Plan, the top vision insurance company in the US, for over 7 years. I work on their larger, strategic projects which run anywhere from 6 months to 18 months in duration and have upwards of 80 team members at a time. If you don't think PM's need to know how to do all this stuff ... you're wrong! We're even required to provide performance reviews for our team members at the end of projects. I've learned so much from listening over the last year and look forward to learning even more at the conference! See you all there!

(My "I" wants to add a smiley face but my "D" won't let it ...)

MattJBeckwith's picture

Hello Dina. Great to hear you'll be there in April. Although I'm not a PM, I work very closely with our PM's and have even referred some of them to Controlling Chaos. An effective PM can make or break a project and I totally agree that M-T can help PM's!

See you in April.

royak74's picture

My name is Roy Krauthamer and I am a Director of Fulfillment Services at an Interactive Promotion Agency in the Detroit Area.

I have been listening to MT for about 8 months and it has had a visible impact on my growth as a manager and a leader within my team, and my organization.

I have been a manager for about 4 years with reports ranging in 6 - 18, depending on the role. I'm really looking forward to soaking as much in as possible to take me to the next level in my career.

palantir's picture

Hello, my name is Ronald (Audience: "HI RONALD!" :wink:) and I am running the consultancy arm of webMethods in Northern Europe. webMethods is a provider of Business Process Integration software.

Part of my role is to asure that implementation projects done by my team are succesful, deliver value and therefore customers are happy. The other part is to manage the team of consultants. I started doing one-on-ones almost a year ago and find it difficult to understand how I could do my job without them before. That started my dedication to MT.

I sometimes find it difficult to actually implement all the good stuff I pick up on MT, so when this opportunity came by I did not hestiate, reached out to my boss and without any problems convinced him to approve my attendance. I am looking forward to the experience and meeting all these smart folks from hopefully all around the globe.

See you all there!

LouFlorence's picture

Hello,

Looking through this intro thread -- I'm excited about the upcoming conference. It's going to be an interesting, diverse group.

For myself, I stumbled on MT about the same time that I was promoted to my current position about 5 months ago. My worksite is a large power plant, with coal- and gas- fired generators. My role here is plant director. We are going through a period of rapid change both in the plants and the organization. MT has been a great resource.

My own DiSC profile (I took it a few weeks ago, but don't remember the exact numbers) suprised me a bit. Mostly C with a little D and not much I or S to be found! The best-fit personality type was "creative". Yikes!

I look forward to meeting with all of you in DC!

Lou

Mark's picture

Steve-

Hey, don't forget to close the loop with Mike and I about my trip to SD in June for the CIO conference.

We'll buy you dinner and talk about the conference... and surfing.

Mark

jess4tip's picture

Hi All-

I'm Jessica Hayes from Arkansas. From reading everyone's posts, it looks like my colleague, Laura, and I will be in the minority since we work for a non-profit. (We have a great boss who knows this will be a beneficial conference).

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to it and know I will learn more than I can imagine.

See you in D.C.

P.S. As you can tell from my post, I'm a high "D." Short and to the point.

Mark's picture

Folks-

I'm sorry this has taken me so long. I regret my absence.

Can't wait to meet you all. We have special casts coming your way, and some neat stuff at the conference.

We're going to have fun and learn a ton too.

Mark

jeffh's picture

Hey folks, I am Jeff Hebert from the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas. I am a Six Sigma project manager at National Semiconductor. I love Manager-Tools because the tools are so practical and effective. I've improved just about every aspect of my work by applying these tools. I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to attend this conference.

I'll stop here for you D types who just want the facts. Read on for more about me.

Looking forward to meeting you all,
Jeff

My story thus far:
I've been a process engineer for many years. From experience, I understand that engineers frequently make poor managers. I was blessed in that my first manager was basically a MT kind of manager. That was also a curse because many of the managers I've had since then do not live up to the standard. I've spent 15 years trying to emulate the good skills and avoid the bad behavior. Several years ago I took a close look at my own leadership skills and I came to a painful realization that I would be one of those bad managers. This realization came at the END of a string of leadership and management training courses through my company. To break out of the poor-engineering-manager mold, I went to school and got an MBA. That really opened my eyes to the world of management, and I finally started to understand why management is so different from engineering. One of the main things that I learned there was that management is boring. I realized that I do not want to be a manager in the sense that most of the managers at my site are managers. I am more of an entrepreneur, while good manufacturing management requires quite different focus. So I ventured into the Six Sigma world of project management and I'm very happy with this current role. I frequently deal with vaguely defined problems, no authority over the people who I depend upon to complete the project, no budget, and exceptionally high expectations from management. It seems like a crazy job, and I love it!

sklosky's picture

Hi,

I'm looking forward to the conference and to meeting you!

I'm eager to share experiencs and stories about my company -- Dataline.

I'm interested in conference content surrounding career development and business development.

Here's my contact info:

Steve Klosky
Director Federal Systems Engineering
Dataline, Inc.
7925 Jones Branch Dr
Suite 1400
McLean, VA 22102

office -- 703-847-7412 x402
fax -- 703-847-7419
skype -- sklosky
web -- www.dataline.com
email -- [email protected]

Cheers,
Steve

drinkcoffee's picture

Hey Dina, I really love your podcast! I'm looking forward to meeting you in person at the conference. See you then,

Bill

jkcurt's picture

I'm glad this was originally started. It's great to have background before we get there.

My name is Kimberly Curt. I am currently Vice President of Services for a small web-development and design firm in Dallas, TX. I've been with them for nearly five years and started out as the only developer. For a short time, it was only my boss (who is also the owner) and me at the company. Since then we have grown to seventeen people with the promise of expanding to about fifty in the next eighteen months.

I manage a group of five (soon to be six) developers, a business analyst, and a project manager. This job has been challenging to say the least given my progression. Thankfully, just prior to beginning here I had earned my Bachelor's in Organizational Management. When I got moved up to VP I was terrified having never been in this type of role before.

Thank God for Manager Tools! I found a mentor who has helped tremendously, but with our quick growth, things are constantly changing which is my biggest challenge. I've implemented O3s to everyone's delight :D but still have a long way to go.

I recently got tasked with seven very difficult goals to reach in the month of April (given the list on 3/29). I am positive that by the time our conference rolls around I will need plenty of sound advice and I'm willing to hear it all.

I started listening to Manager Tools in September of 06 and just finally got through all of them...I'm on withdrawal now, so I'm very excited about meeting everyone and getting a full two-days' worth of knowledge.

I'm not sure where I fall within DiSC, but I think I would be a high D/high C with a little S thrown in for good measure. Not so much on the "i".

Can't wait to meet everyone!!

Mark's picture

Ahhh, the dreaded "no more daily casts since I am all caught up" syndrome.

Welcome all!

Mark

sholden's picture

I've found a cure for no more daily casts ... start to listen to the library over again. Works well ... - Steve

leismal's picture

Hi all. My name is Liivo Leismann
I guess when we will have only 100 persons participating, it would be fully "do"able to learn the names of all participants within those days. I'm clearly not the best at this so I thought that this early start could be helpful. Plus, I wanted also to join the dinner on the night before the conference and "nice people stick their hand out and introduce themselves", and smile :)

I'm living and working in Germany (Hannover) at the moment and my employer is Consolis - a leading European manufacturer of prefabricated concrete products. This has been a year by now in Germany to where I was internally rotated as my first expatriate job. Originally I do come from Estonia, where I did work in Consolis's local subsidiary for 10 years. Mostly in Sales and Marketing and this is where I have got my managerial experience. Since I'm high D, high I type, I do not make the best engineer, but I do see a lot of other good things that I could be good for this business. Therefore I love Manager Tools. I have been listening this by now for for a year, and you know, in the beginning maybe one of the most convincing arguments for me that got me really exited, was the fact, that both Mike and Mark come from IT industry. They do have a lot of engineers as well... :)

So, I'm really exited to be there (already less than in 2 weeks time) and get to meet you all.

take care
Liivo

Mark's picture

Liivo-

Mike and I can't wait to shake your hand.

Mark

steveaz26's picture

I'm really looking forward to the conference and meeting everyone!

Here's a brief profile of myself. Am happy to go into any details during the conference. Looks like a dynamic group of attendees. I'm sure it will be a great experience!

I work at a major Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company which I've been at for the past 2 years (in the same role). I manage an organization of about 70 professionals including a team in an 'off-shore' location. My team provides accounting services to a major client. My direct reports are all managers with each having 1 or more teams that they're responsible for. It's an exciting, challenging, fast-paced environment which keeps things interesting on a daily basis.

Prior to that I spent the better part of my career as an individual contributor with most of my management experience on projects. I can truly say I love the role of leadership/management and hope to continue to develop my skill in this area as I feel like I have such a long way to go.

I've been listening to MT for a year now and find it the single most useful source of information that I can relate to and apply to my job each day.

ageremia's picture

Hello everyone. I'm Andy Geremia, Training Manager for Ingersoll Rand out of Bristol, CT (right behind ESPN). Our dvision manufactures card access security systems. I develop and deliver technical training on our hardware and software and have been branching out into personal development training as well.

I'm looking forward to meeting all of you and getting a concentrated dose of Mark and Mike!

laglasson's picture

I'm a bit late to the party, but I want to introduce myself before next week's shindig...

My name is Leigh Anne Glasson and I'm a VP Engineering at Ariba, a software company in the Silicon Valley. Ariba is the leading provider of Spend Management solutions. We help companies improve their bottom line by helping them analyze and manage their corporate spending.

I've been with Ariba for over 8 years in a variety of engineering leadership roles. I am currently responsible for the Ariba Supplier Network and all of our Procurement products.

I'm looking foward to learning a ton and meeting you all. If the conference is anywhere near as good as I'm expecting, I'm planning to send my management team next year (even better if next time it's in the SF Bay Area)!

See you next week,
Leigh Anne

jpetronzi's picture

Hi Everyone,

My name is Jaymie Petronzi. I've worked for the Social Security Administration for 17 years and still LOVE IT. Our recruiting slogan says it all, "It makes a difference where you work, so work where you can make a difference!"

I currently manage 2 virtual teams, one team of 7 systems administrators and another team of 12 legal technicians. I'm a High I and High D (Persuader). I'm really looking forward to meeting (and learning from) all of you next week!!

Jaymie

meg66aj's picture

Just one more day.....I feel like a child the day before Christmas.

I am really excited about meeting you folks from the UK ... my mother-in-law is from Great Yarmouth and my grandparents are from Scotland, so we'll have to chat!

I am a new Executive Director for the American Cancer Society in Arkansas. I have had the GREAT privledge of meeting Mark and participating in one of his trainings. I have also been an avid "pod" listener. This is no doubt going to be one of the highlights of my career. I have my wonderful boss, Dani to thank for this opportunity. It's great to have a manager who feels you are worthy enough for this high level experience.

See you all in DC.

Laura Vaughn

pmoriarty's picture

I am really looking forward to the conference this week!

My name is Paul Moriarty and I'm Director of Internet Content Security for Trend Micro, the leading digital security company, providing secure content and threat management solutions. My current focus is developing anti-botnet technologies.

I've been a manager for over 15 years, all in corporate IT (prior to coming to Trend) ranging from line manager to CIO. While an "old hand" at managing, I still find a lot of useful material here on Manager Tools. I sure wish I had a resource like this when I was just starting out.

I'm eager to meet everybody and soak up lots of good material to help make me a better manager.