Friday, June 29, 2012

What if this is the last job you ever have?


I figure I have 20 good years left in the workforce, for a variety of reasons: Social security, paltry retirement savings, and costs associated with my children's upcoming college education that will start in about 4 years and continue at least 7 more years beyond that.

Fortunately, after extended unemployment that began in 2005 and resulted in rebuilding my career over the past 7 years, things are going pretty darn well. I work like a dog, but I wake up every day happy to do so. I work with good people that treat me well, and have the strongest team working for me in my entire career.

But what if this is it? What if this is the only job I have for the next 20 years?

How will I be remembered - what will my legacy be?

Today, I am no longer a very good material planner/master scheduler, I am a manager. But, what if I can't move up, and can't move back? This is it, the last job I'll ever have.

In that case, I don't want to be known as technically competent or someone that kept the lines running. Yeah, all that is part of the job and goes without saying. But, is there anyone out there that wants the best thing anyone says about him at his retirement is "he was a good worker"?

I want to be known as someone that developed great people and built great teams. I want the people I work for to see my teams as the pool of candidates for the next generation of managers within the company. I want my team to outgrow their roles, even if it means they have to move out to move up. I want every smart, ambitious person in the company fighting to be selected for the next opening on my team.

Plus, I have a feeling that if I approach my job with this mindset, it won't be the last job I ever have.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Would it be appropriate to add "Producer of Great DNA" to my linkedin profile?

Anne, Second place, student competition, Melbourne Art Festival, 2012 

Emily, Winner, Long Doggers Beach-Cleanup Poster Contest, 2012

Straight-A students & award-winning artists. Plus, cute as a couple of buttons!

Anne will be receiving an award next month from the Duke TIP program. She took the SAT with 75,000 other gifted 7th graders this past year, and scored in the top 5%. We'll be attending an award ceremony in May in Gainesville. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Improving the world one chart at a time

Really? Almost 2 years since I last posted?

Since I started a new job 2 weeks after my last post, let's blame that, ok?


I was sent an Excel chart a couple days ago with a simple request: How do I get the chart to update automatically when a new days' production numbers are entered?

Here's the chart:

Yeah, pretty much unreadable, right? I knew if I didn't address this right away I would be kicked out the "Just Say No To Bad Charts" club.

My solution is to create multiple charts in a dashboard layout, with Total Production at the top, and drilldowns to the types of equipment used. This allows the reader to track overall performance, then drill down to individual workstation performance, using the same data. Clean, easy to understand, easy to compare like-pieces of equipment.

Because I created it, I obviously think it is superior to the original. :-)

As for the answer to the original question, it is easy enough:

When you click in a chart, a couple things happen:

1. A "Chart Menu" appears above the tool bar. You can click the "Design" tab and select the button for "Select Data", and

2. A couple of boxes will appear around the source data table. You can click the bottom right corner of the blue box and drag it to cover the are you expect to use for future data.