Friday, July 31, 2009

Our Finest Hour

Our guiding principle for July was (yes…my bad, it is July 31st) was FINEST. We define finest as:

“I find and implement the best practices from around the world that add to our positive reputation. I use my knowledge, authority, and sound judgment to contribute to our reputation of excellence. My experience, high credibility, and quality of service generates testimonials that praise the division”

So how can we be our finest during these challenging times that impact all of us? The lives of great people give us interesting clues about how to take care of ourselves, since that is one area we truly do have control over. The daily routines of the great can teach us the following:

· Despite the modern obsession with physical presence at offices, very few of the great worked 12 hour days.
· Taking breaks is healthy; Socrates would sometimes simply stop and hold completely still for several minutes. Beethoven would take breaks in the morning and go outside and walk around. He called these moments “working while walking”.
· Mix it up! Churchill painted, fed his fish, played card games and constructed buildings all over Chartwell farm. He famously claimed that our minds don’t need rest as much as they need variety.
· Don’t schedule every minute of every day. Daily routines are supposed to make things easier, not more complicated. Micro-managing every minute of your day does not work.
· The great all reserved time to relax. Gandhi would often spend time just staring at the horizon. Churchill would sit down to smoke a cigar after lunch. In his recent autobiography, Alan Greenspan mentions that he too makes time to reflect each day.

Make a conscious effort to something for YOU each and every day… deserve it! Switching gears a little while still focusing on finest, I asked my staff here in the Vice President’s Office to share their thoughts and perspectives on what finest means to them:

“If I were to add anything, it would be something to the effect of finest as it relates to 'a fine wine'. Aged to perfection, unwilling to compromise. We have managed to build a division with a group of professionals—that are aged to perfection (not in years). We have set the bar high and continue to amaze others as we move through tough economic times with the finest skills and tact. As independent as many of us are, we all aspire, from each other, to be the finest stewards we can be.”

“To me, finest means of a higher standard. If something/someone is the finest, you would just expect more, better, greater. Along with being the finest or owing the finest comes with a sense of pride, accomplishment and reliability. No one aspires to be mediocre, or have mediocre things. We should not settle for ‘good enough’ but strive for a higher level of achievement—to be or have the finest. “

“When Linda launched the vision for the division, she made several points about FAS being the finest place the work, having the finest people, and providing the highest quality services. She mentioned the following:
· San Marcos’s reputation is well-known throughout the CSU for being one of the finest campuses to work
· More specifically, FAS has a reputation for excellence as demonstrated by our performance on GAAP and FISMA audits; Recyclemania Grand Champions for 5 years in a row; Procurement Award, Parking and Commuter Services’ Diamond award; and of course, our distinguished police force.

Speaking of finest, wasn’t our July FAS division meeting wonderful and filled with fun and useful information? Thank you again, Facilities Development and Management!

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