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Showing posts from 2020

The Mentor of a Middle Manager - Joel Bussell

       I have been writing this article for almost a month; bits and pieces at a time.   I wanted to finish it before December 26 th, on what would have been my father’s 84 th birthday.   Joel Bussell was the most important mentor in my life.   I have had many people who have influenced me during my journey into middle management.   Supervisors, department managers, coworkers, and even direct supports have helped guide me through numerous challenges.   However, my father was the first and most significant mentor of my entire life.   An engineer, and later an attorney, he was not ever a C-suite executive or a world-renowned leader. To those he taught in his classes or hired and developed in his 40-year manufacturing career, and 15 years as an educator, he was an invaluable mentor.        As I look back on my life, I can visualize many of the times my father advised me.   It was his idea for me to spend my summer mornings as 14-year-old, selling donuts door to door in office building

Three Men and A Truck Photo, My 30 Year Journey

Last year, I received an interesting email announcing the retirement of one of my undergraduate professors.  Professor Keshav Varde was not only one of my instructors, he was also my program adviser, the head of the mechanical engineering department, and the faculty advisor on the Society of Automotive Engineers competition project.  I was the team leader of a national competition project to convert a GMC truck to run on natural gas.  It had been several years since we had spoken, and I thought it would be nice gesture to stop by his retirement party and congratulate him in person. On the evening of the retirement reception, I arrived late on a winter evening at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus.   I was held up at work, and running behind, so I skipped dinner and headed over to my alma-mater.  I hadn't visited the campus in several years.  The last time I walked through campus was with my oldest son.  A few years prior he was up in the area and deciding which school to t