By Jon Castelhano, CIO Advisor
Get Back On
Lesson 1: If you fall off the horse (even if it hurts), you must get back on and face the challenge that threw you. I remember when I was about 5 years old, I was cruising somewhere with my dad when we both spotted a little red Honda Z50 motorcycle on the side of the road with a for sale sign on it. We both did one of those, "Did you see that?" and next thing I know we were loading it up in the back of the truck. The next week we were out in the desert and after strapping on my new helmet with the red pinstripe on top (it was the '70s), I took off. About 100 ft. from the truck I hit a rut, handlebars twisted and down I went. I walked back to the truck, took off my helmet and told my dad to sell the motorcycle. Like any good dad, he very firmly said, "Put your helmet on and get back on the bike." Since that day in the desert I have been hooked on riding motocross and a fan of the sport.
Lesson 2: Corner speed is the key to winning the race. The number of challenges IT departments face on a daily basis can be mind-boggling at times, and trying to predict what issues will arise is almost impossible. The key is how will you handle the challenges that present themselves? This is where corner speed comes in. The most important part of a motocross race is the rider's ability to navigate corners faster than his opponents. Although the big jumps are exciting, at the professional level, all the riders are jumping everything and time is made in the corners.
Day-to-day challenges are nothing more than corners and every single corner is a little different than the last. For a racer, the proper positioning and repetitive practice makes perfect. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Every day is full of corners and lots of opportunity to practice how we navigate through them. Being consistent and using the same form each time will help keep stress levels down, let your staff become comfortable with how you will handle issues, and help increase your corner speed at the next turn.
Keep It Fun
Lesson 3: Keep it fun. Writing this post was very enjoyable because I could talk about something I enjoy doing outside of work and relate it to the day-to-day tasks at the office. The next time you are faced with a challenge at work, think about your favorite hobby and try to draw some comparison to the issue in front of you. You may be surprised at how getting back on that horse and charging the next corner could be so much fun.
Jon Castelhano is director of technology for Apache Junction USD in Arizona. This blog is cross posted on his blog, This and That.