Friday, April 15, 2005


What makes us tick? Why do we do the things that we do and what encourages us to do so?

In the simplest terms man is no more than an omnivorous primate. We have combination teeth which provide for tearing meat and crushing vegetables. We have an opposible thumb. But what sets us apart, is ambition and foresight. Some might argue that logic or higher brain function sets us apart from the rest of the animals. I don't disagree with this but I feel that logic and higher brain function is an offshoot of ambition and foresight. But this blog is not to argue that point. This blog is meant to examine some of the reasons that I do what I do...

I am driven by myself to be the best that I can be in whichever endeavor that I pursue. If I can give my all to one particular task, and I am not the best at it, I am fine with it. However, if I do not give my all and I am bested by another. It took me a very long time to be satisfied with not being the best at everything that I do. But my compulsive behavior does not allow me to be satisfied with an effort of less than 100%. In my work I want to be the absolute best, I want to be the "gold standard" by which others are measured.

I currently work in a Body Shop Parts Office, which I manage. In the last 7 months since I have taken over, my return percentage to other vendors has dropped, my sales have increased and the overall productivity of my bodyshop has been raised. The frustration of the Body Shop Management with the Parts Department is the lowest that it has ever been since I've been employed at this dealership. My success is due to several factors, among them is the fact that Charlie, my coworker, is a master at organization and the development of processes. We operate on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle. We also operate on a fairly strict separation of duties. Both of us are goal oriented and driven to succeed. Our operation in the Body Shop has been noticed and for certain insurance company repair programs we are #1 in our respective region. Our success has been noted by the rest of the parts department, and some of them want to defect to my department. This is notable since the legend or shall I say spectre of doom surrounding the body shop was quite ominous.

But why am I driven to work hard at a task for which I never wanted? The financials are nice, to be sure, but there is something more. I never want to fail a task and have someone say "The truth is that you never really tried."

I played roller hockey for the past 10 years. I'm not big, I'm not that skilled, my hands aren't that soft and I don't have many moves. The niche that I fit in is one of a hard working defensive forward that is strong along the boards. I viewed my role as one of giving the skilled players a breather, drawing a few penalties and doing the dirty work that no one else wanted to do. I'm good for a goal or two or four a season but not much more. I'm also a good teacher/coach of the game. I never liked leaving a game knowing that I didn't give everything I had to help my team. Some games the best thing I could do was to take very short shifts and get the skill guys out there as much as possible. To be honest, I love my playing time, but I can certainly accept the fact that my best, isn't THE best, it's only what I can offer. In my playing time I learned alot about the game, yet there is so much more to learn. And that learning is what I obsess about.

I have always had a thirst for knowledge. I remember being a small child, a toddler in fact, possibly around 2 years old, observing my father reading a book. I kept thinking that whatever he is doing it must be important; It must be more important to him than me. (After he I found out that was true.) I wanted to know what was in those books. What was it that held him captivated so many nights, for so much time. I then taught myself to read at a young age. I'm pretty sure the reason I started reading was to find my father. I was hoping to find him trapped in one of the pages and he'd come to life in my mind. Maybe I'm just grasping here, I don't know. But I was driven by knowledge then and I'm driven by it now.

That's enough of me for now, for someone that s himself so much, I do alot of talking about myself.

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