Celestica VP/GM, Industrial & Smart Energy
Milwaukee School of Engineering Bachelor of Science (BS), Electrical and Electronics Engineering
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
not interested in technology. When I was in high school, I pursued a electrical engineering degree in college which I practiced the art of engineering to Onley A for a very limited of time. I was involved with controls engineering for a period of time, but then parlay the the thought process, the analytics, the ability thio parts problems and troubleshoot into product management and then strategic management and eventually into the business management. So that that's, ah, quick version of my path of how we got here so far.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? What are the top three priorities? What are weekly work hours like?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
you know, as faras the responsibilities for my role. I've I've got a responsibility to three constituents, same same as anybody in the business leadership role, my customers that I need, toe solve and, you know, help them solve their problems and deliver for our commitments to them. I've got employees who are under my charge. So I need Thio. Consider what they do and how to help enable them and doing that effectively. And then, of course, it's a public company. So we have shareholders and we've got a judiciary responsibility. Thio deliver growth and profit to thio those folks as well. So it's It's a balancing act between those three pieces. Um, my own personal philosophy is that if you aren't getting it right with the customers employees, you'll never make it right for the shareholders. So there's Ah, there's an important combination there. Um, you know, as faras, I would say my relative, you know, priorities. Um, you know, any any business, any commercial enterprise today, you know, has toe have some aspect of growth and productivity associated with it. It's it's how we stay ahead of inflation. It's how we basically create value in the market in the case of being a public company or even in the case of a private company, its how you create value for for the ownership. So, you know, driving growth, driving profitability, which involves both. You know, uh uh, managing incoming revenues as well as controlling costs. And and, like I said, delivering productivity on Ben, you know, the third the third top priority, if you will, is probably ultimately, you know, are all aspects related thio customer satisfaction. Because if you're not meeting the needs of your customers, if you're not helping them solve their problems, if you're not meeting their delivery expectations so they can satisfy their customers, then the whole thing starts to fall apart. So, you know, from from an absolute prioritization, it's it's pretty straightforward. Um, the last part of the question on weekly work hours. Well, um, there was the pre covitz stage, and then there's the postcode stage. So with with normally in my role, I would be traveling extensively all over the world. I have customers and manufacturing facilities literally around the globe. Um, this year, of course, you know have not had any travel thio to speak up. Eso the hours have been, ah, bit more normal. But the days stretched. Just simply, you know, having a global responsibility. Probably most things happen within ah, normal workday. You know, 7 to 5726 type timeframe. Um, but again with, you know, with with with having business in Europe and Asia as well as the Americas, sometimes you have early morning. Sometimes you have late night meetings that go on a swell.

What are major challenges and pain points in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in overcoming them? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
there's a there's a balance between having a plan and being very flexible and agile, right? And I think a lot of companies will operate in a very responsive way. And the veal er, in the process of potentially trying to be responsible, veer far enough off of their plan or their core strategy or their core competency or value proposition that they suddenly find themselves challenge to deliver, you know, effectively because they strayed too far. Um, you know, being too rigid and with no flex for your customers or their situation isn't gonna work either. So, you know, finding that defining that strategy, holding yourself accountable to it, sticking to it and then allowing for some flex without actually going off course is is a major challenge, right? There's always gonna be forces and influences toe pull you 111 way or another. Um, I would say the other. The other major challenges just the aspect of, you know, Ambi, ambiguity, uncertainty, Um, you know, were you know, in this particular role, you know, your job is toe toe, look forward and and lead forward, right? It's not so much to worry about. Yesterday is is what we're doing tomorrow. And, you know, this is a great example of no one saw this coming right with with the pandemic this year. And so you know that that's one of the That's one of the major challenges and eso as part of any strategy, there should be a little bit of resiliency testing scenario testing if you want to call it that. Um, you know, I think probably a lot of students do that in various courses and, you know, in various ways maybe using different, you know, terminology. But you got a stress test, a little bit of what your plans look like, so that if if you are hit with something unexpected, you know, will it will it stand up? It's kind of it's kind of like doing, uh, you know, wind shear testing on a building If you're If you're an architectural student, you got to know whether you know, when the bus comes, the building in the state standing right, um, you know, as far as approaches to overcoming them, I think I mentioned that is part of my my educational background. You know, I've got a that kind of an engineering mindset, analytical mindset. I tend Thio, try and break things down. Thio really get to understand what is root cause and not symptom. Um and there's a lot of things, you know, that some people refer to that as, uh, you know, elements of the Toyota production system or a lean six Sigma methodology. If if you're more familiar with some of the manufacturing terminology, but at the end of the day, it's it's really just being able to take situations separate symptoms from from what's causing those symptoms. And then you know what's leading to the root cause and and how do you How do you course correct it. Okay, um and, uh, not shuriken site a specific example off the top of my head beyond the couple that I already gave so far. Okay. Thank you.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
in my particular world, You know, I'm I'm not. I'm not in development of, you know, software hardware products per se. We do have we do some design work, one of things. Maybe just thio help people understand what celestic it is versus maybe other companies. We are a what we call electronic manufacturing services company. So we will help other companies with their design work with their design for manufacture ability. Industrialization will manufacture product for them will provide after market support services, etcetera. But it's, you know, everything that we build goes out the door with someone else's logo on it, someone else's brand on it. So, as a services company, um, you know, we we use, you know, certain tools from, um, you know, PTC and others for for, you know, product lifecycle management. I'm not going to go into all of the details. It won't really matter, but it's in a in enabler role of support role thio, you know, to ah product or OM company. And so that's a little bit different than, say, some of the past companies that I've worked for, which were product companies where maybe they were developing hardware and software directly as their primary responsibility. And you know that that's a whole different, you know, Different, different set up in tool set, I would say as faras the You know I mentioned, you know, with regards to strategy development, the you know, the various scenario planning, you know that there's Boston Consulting Group has models. McKinsey has models. There's a lot of different material out there, some of it in the public domain, some of it still held by some of the consultants. You're my world is a little bit difference more about strategy, development versus product deployment per se, so that that particular question may not be is relevant to what I do is it might be for some other people that you're interviewing, Um, the But it is we do. We do attempt to be very systemic about the way we approach things and and take advantage of all the best best in class thinking best in class modeling that we can that's out there at any given time. Okay,

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
So the what's often referred to as the C suites of the CEO of the CEO? Oh, maybe the CMO or chief marketing officer Chief procurement Officer Aziz, well, as senior vice presidents, vice presidents and sometimes directors in all of those different areas. The It's a pretty broad smattering of titles. A lot of titles were very, you know, if it's a small company, everybody might be achieved something or the other. If it's, you know, a large Fortune 50 company, then you know you might have lots of vice presidents and directors, so it's gonna be, you know, for my part, my interactions tend to be a fairly high level again. We're talking more about aspect of the business partnership, the relationship, what objectives were trying to achieve mutually It's not, you know, not not down into the nuts and bolts as much. Um, the you know, the ast faras ous faras an approach goes, I think probably the one thing I would convey more so than anything else is I've seen people go round and round and round and arguments of or trying to make a position one way or another and on Lee to find out after the fact that they were not actually trying to achieve the same outcome. Okay, so if I say this is the right way to get there and you say that's the right way to get there Well, if there is the same place, we have a legitimate debate. If you're thinking New York and I'm thinking Delhi, we're never going to agree on how to get there because we're not trying to go to the same place. Okay, so the the the thing, I think that's most important. And this could be sometimes difficult to dio, particularly in commercial relationships where you know there's negotiations going on. Maybe somebody doesn't want to tell exactly the whole story or be fully transparent, but it's really critically important. Make sure that what you are trying to achieve as objectively as you can, um, is understood by everyone. And then I think you're gonna find that the the getting to common ground and getting to an agreement on an approach or a timeline or other dimensions is just so much easier and so much quicker, Um, way all tend to assume certain things that the other person is, you know, approaching something in a very similar way. Break. Break that problem down first, validate that first, and it will be a whole lot easier, right?

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
I gotta Congratulations. These are some of these air. Some great questions. So, um, you know, I think Look, when? When? When I was first, you know, coming out of school. It was it was really about my individual contribution, right? I wasn't managing people. I was managing myself. It waas What was the task at hand? What could I do to, you know, to bring that fourth? And, you know, I'm speaking specifically in the engineering realm. I had the good fortune when I was much younger toe work in, um, some of the behind the scenes piece for the music industry. Right? So so preparing and managing stages for live shows. And in that context, it's, you know, the lighting person is a professional. The sound person is a professional there. There's various people who know their craft. And your job is ah is a stage manager. Leader is to bring all those pieces together. And and it's to bring it all together for the benefit of the audience is to bring it all together for the benefit of the performers. And the show starts at eight o'clock on Friday night. It's not You can't get there. Two hours later. You can't be done with everything you need to do in the next day. You need to have your planning. You need to have everything so that you're achieving a now outcome by a time. Okay, that's an incredibly important thing that, you know, a concept that has really informed my thinking all along. Now, as as my career is developed, um, you know, the amount of time I think about strategy, the amount of time that I spend making sure that I am, you know, I have a team that's capable. I'm enabling them to be successful. You know, it's it's not. It's not about what I can do anymore. What I can do is is this very, very small piece of the puzzle. What I do to help make sure that the whole bunch of people can do what they need to do. That that's what that's what's critical. That's what's necessary right now. So So my my style is, I hope people toe high account, right, understand the strategy, understand how the pieces fit together, understand what the critical measures of success are, and then we'll make it happen. And if you need help, ask for it. If you need, you know, additional support, training, whatever. Then let's talk about what we need to do to make that happen. But it it's so it's some people call it servant leadership. I don't know if I would quite put myself in that category. I've seen other people who are more that, um but But it's it's certainly as ah as, ah, guide and an enabler you know, would be that would be the two pieces. And that has evolved a lot over the years, you know, for when I was much younger, I thought I knew how to rule the world and trying to tell a bunch of people how to do what they needed to do. Um, that could be very useful and necessary in situations, for example, where a business is in trouble and it needs to turn around quickly or it will fail altogether. Then occasionally you need to be very directive, very almost dictatorial, right? Um, but that's it's gotta be an exceptional crisis situation for that to be the right way to approach it. Otherwise, it's gotta be a you know, a support and an enablement mode is the right way to go

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
comment that made earlier when I talked to earlier about making sure everybody's on the same page is where they're trying to go, what outcome they're trying to achieve. Um, you know, whether that's, you know, between Celestica and one of its customers, one of our suppliers, or even within, you know, internal teams and that kind of thing. I often find that if you if you peel that back a little bit too, people will say that they're trying to get exactly the same outcome. But But they're they're not really. And usually there's something to that. Um, you know, sometimes you get into situations where people will rub each other the wrong way from a style perspective, right? One person is maybe very outgoing. The other is shy. They need to work together, is as equals, and they're just they're natural styles don't necessarily gel that way. Um, that that's just the reality, right? It's how people are. And sometimes you need toe, you know, balance or even change up with. Some folks are assigned to and what they're working on to it. Thio to deal with that, Um, sometimes it's a matter of coaching, you know, for others to be a little bit more sensitive to one thing or another. But what? What I find to be most critical relative to your questions of trust and openness and healthy work culture is, you know, it really starts with, you know what? What are you trying to do with the business? What's the vision and mission for the business? If if it's if it's understood, if it's compelling, right, people can attach themselves to it and they can attach themselves to it in a way that they realized that not everything is going to go their way, not everything is gonna be easy. But you know, if it's if it's meaningful to them, they will find a way toe, persevere and get through. Okay, I find from my own my own part, I am as open as I possibly can be. There are always, you know, confidential things that cannot be shared. Um, you know more broadly with the organization, whether that's for a short period of time, because something's going on, you know, a financial transaction or something like that, where disclosure is not allowed or, you know, there are things of a personal nature regarding an employee or something like that. Those things obviously have to be held in confidence. But everything else should be, you know, should be open and and the trust factor comes from are consistent the you know when When you when you lay out a strategy when you lay out a set of goals. If you say this is what we need to go do this year and then four weeks later you change it again. And then four weeks later you change it again. And every day is a new priority. A new story, right? There won't be any trust. There won't be any believability. And what you're trying to dio if you you know So So you need to set a goal. You need to stick with it. Not not to the point where you're running off the cliff, right? You don't wanna You don't want to stick to it to the point of being blind to the problems. But find that balance between sticking to it until you absolutely proven that that you know, for some reason this is wrong and we need to course correct. Or, um, find a way to persevere through it and get to where you're trying to go. Um, it's It's the mechanism I've used now for 20 almost 25 years, the various businesses that I've been leading in that period of time and it's the, uh to me it's It's the It's the essential toe build that trust with with employees with the rest of the organization, so okay.

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
I think, um you know, recognition is a secondary effect, right? If you you know, if you want to get recognized, you know, challenge what you know is not viable, right? Bebe? Don't be afraid, Thio. You know, speak up. Raise your hand. Question maybe What's going on? Also, you know, be smart enough to realize that when you know if that's the direction set, if you're absolutely core against it, then go find something else to do. If you're, you know, realize that you may not have is brought a perspective of somebody else. Then take the opportunity toe, you know, play along and learn a little something. But I think the, you know, good recognition is not, you know, waving your hand and getting you know, the teacher to call on you. The good recognition is doing what's right by your peers. You know your fellow employees doing what's right for your customers. Like I said before, if you're doing that, for the most part, what will be happening for the company will be right. And you know that Can that can lead Thio, you know some good recognition. I also realized that in some cases, you know organizations are very broad or they're very deep or people are spread around the world. And not everybody has that opportunity for interaction that one would hope. The you know, the the the folks who are in leadership roles. The folks who are in, you know, HR management roles would recognize that that recognition may not always be obvious or forthcoming because there's there's too many degrees of separation there, Um, and the better cos I'm familiar with have, you know, put mechanisms in place to, you know, four supervisors force managers toe. Okay, think about this. Make this part of your you know, part of your activities. Um, and you know, so I think on the so so to summarize, then on the employee side, don't grandstand. Don't Don't do anything to sort of stand out for the sake of being visible, you know? Do it, you know, perform well, particularly for customers. Not the best way to get recognition. Get a get a, you know, ah, letter of recognition from your customer. Okay, that that will be better than anything else you can possibly do on the planet. So perform like mad there, and you'll do Great. Um the rest of it, I think, is, uh, you know, may depend a little bit on the company culture. And, uh, like I said, the better ones were all recognizing what they need to do. And have you no systems in place to help support that? Uh huh.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
So, um, I have used a You know, there's a There's a tool out there called the Balanced Scorecard. It was developed by Kaplan and Norton got the book around here somewhere. In any case, I've used a modified version of that to run businesses not now for a long, long time, and it there therefore dimensions to it. So the there's the people dimension, there is the business process dimension, which would go thio. Here, let me finish. There's a business process dimension. There is the customer dimension. And then there's the financial performance aspect, and those air the basically the four bits of the balanced scorecard again. I will, you know, admit openly that I've sort of taken that tool and modified it to my purpose. But things like, you know, on the customer side, it's quality performances, delivery, performance. Even price realization is a measure of customer satisfaction. If if there if a customer is willing to give you more money for a product, you're obviously doing something that satisfies them so that that metric of price realization is actually a reflection of customer satisfaction on the on the financial side. I think you know, you know anybody's been exposed to basic e con P and l's etcetera will know what the critical measures are in terms off, you know, revenues and costs and profit margins and what have you So I won't repeat all of that. I think that's probably widely understood, You know, on the people's side, it depends on what business you're in. But, you know, it could be retention rates. It could be promotion rates. It could be, um, you know, education process completion on an annual basis. If everybody needs to get, you know, 33 new you know, C p A. Points or whatever in a given year, whatever it might be that the dynamics will vary. But making sure that you know it, you're the employees give a lot to the organization. They should get something from it in in my world, if the proper balance is. If If you were working for me, whatever your job is, whatever you're supposed to be doing for the organization, what I would want to know is, you know, if we were a year later, are you better at it? Are you one step closer to your your next career step goal or whatever you're trying to ascend to, okay? And that's entirely your call that that's not for me to decide. You need to know where you wanna go, but my question would be and this goes down to an individual employee level. Are you? Are you better at what you do or what you want to dio? And if not, what else do we have to do? What are there other assignments is the training anyway? Those air part of the employees dimensions the business process piece, Um, in a in a manufacturing facility, it might be, you know, what's your first past? The yield rate, right. If if you're in a software development, you know, area it might be, um you know, uh, cycle time on debug testing or something to that effect. It can. It will. It will always vary a little bit by contact, so there's not. There's not like an absolute set that you know is right for every business out there. But those four pieces business process financials, customer and employee that construct is really solid. If you're if you're thinking about the critical metrics forgiven business in those areas, you'll be on the right

What skills and qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
here, it's It's very difficult to give you a singular answer simply because, you know, am I Am I talking to a sales person? Um, I talking to a design engineer, Um, I talking to an operations manager. So, you know, I you know, if you wanted me to pick one of those, I could maybe try and give you some specifics, but I I'll let everybody in. Maybe on a little bit of a secret. I learned mawr about candidates by the questions they asked me. Then I asked them. Okay, um and you know, oftentimes, when I'm involved in hiring now, there have been, you know, so if it's for, ah, software engineer there, people who know software engineering will have interviewed the candidate and determine whether there, you know, technical skills are up to speed. Or do they actually know python, or do they just put it on their resume and whatever? Okay, I'm not going to get into that sort of thing. You know my level. You know it. Depending on the role and the responsibility, if there's gonna be a lot of custom interaction, I might poke, I might I might pursue those questions a little bit more. If it's gonna be more on leading an internal team, you know, I might get into a little bit more about how do you How do you program manager? And how do you make sure that things were staying on track? Etcetera? Um but as I indicated, when I sit down with the candidate, I try and have you know, if I'm gonna be sitting down with somebody for an hour, I would like a good chunk of that time for me to be responding to their questions, not the other way around, because what you ask me will tell me a lot about what you're thinking about what you consider important, how perhaps prepared you are Thio, you know, look into some of the corners and find out. You know, one thing everyone should recognize when they're intern when they're in an interview is it's not a one way conversation. It's not whether the company is interested in you. It's also Are you interested in the company? Does it fit you and, um, you know, having having two Children who are in their mid twenties right now. This is you know, this is kind of recent for me, but, um, the, uh like I said it, you know, if you if you really want Thio, don't be prepared with a million answers. Be prepared with smart questions. The answers are gonna be who you are, what you are. How you think that the questions will is what you need to spend time preparing. What do you want to know from the people who were interviewing you? Um and that will, Like I said, that will tell them as much about you is is any any of the questions to you?

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
I'll be a little bit generic here only because I don't want to site specific situations or companies. But, uh, in my career, I have gone into Urban hired into, uh, let's just say five companies who have have had struggling businesses. Okay, um and you know, my my role, my responsibility was toe was toe right. The ship and get get the business back on a growth and productivity on profitability path. Okay, um, I have now done that successfully. You know, all those times, so that that's that's a pretty good feel. Good. Um, I discovered so the first time that happened wasn't necessarily by intent. But I discovered that when I was in that environment that that my skills, my my analytic ability just the way I did. You know, troubleshooting and problem breakdown was very effective in helping Thio get to the root cause of why the business was not performing well. Um, and you know, could thereby come up with plans and activities that would within the resource is available to us would allow us to get back on the track. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, right. It depends. Um, you know, somewhat on on the companies the market. The context. Trying to fix a business in January of 2009 was obviously a bit of a challenge because of the market situation. And and so things will vary the, um so so that, you know, turn around or transformation context is, um, where I found that, that my skills and abilities and my approach to business and setting forth the strategy and putting, you know, targets in place and sticking with them for for a period of time. All of that waas you know, was effective. You know, it's, you know, the the tool set that I have, the things I do, the things that I'm I'm better at maybe than than than others. You know, it seems to work pretty well in that environment. I'm extremely pleased by, you know, having helped turn around a number of different you know, business divisions Now and and then some of them have created, you know, tremendous growth and tremendous value, you know, for, you know, for not all the employees and customers, but the shareholders as well. Um, and it's, um ah, you know, so so that that's that's something. I feel really, really good about and, you know, I think the the take away from me that probably is at the end of it. Um, there's a lot of people I've worked with over the years, and in my particular case, I've worked for a number of different companies over the years. Um, and I have a broad network of people who, given the opportunity, would work with me again in a heartbeat. And that zoo? No, that that's a pretty good feel. That's a that's a good That's a feel good right there and and one that I'm proud of. And I'm also proud of the fact that that a lot of people who have worked for me along the way have themselves moved up and moved into leadership roles. Sometimes there's even a couple of guys who have taken a couple of steps above me. Um, you know, in terms of their ascent in their particular companies, So it's a good for them. Right, sir,

What college programs did you attend and what were their best parts? How did each of your college programs prepare you for your career?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
I like. I like the question. I don't know that it's it's that I think everybody's got a little bit of a college story. So So let me tell you my college story. So as I mentioned earlier, I was interested in technology and electron ICS, you know, decided early on that I wanted to go into electrical engineering. As it turned out, I started working for a company in the same town as I went to school. Um, as a controls engineer, I parlayed some things I took from high school and got started into it. And so my experience was probably, you know, I don't think it's completely unique in these days, but maybe a little bit. I was working full time as a controls engineer while I was going to school, and so that gave me a little bit of a different perspective on all the stuff that you go through in school. About 50% of it is critically important. 50% of it. You'll probably never use the challenges. You don't ever know which 50% gonna work for you, right? Okay. So you kinda have to pay attention to all of it because you're never quite sure what's gonna matter to you after college. All right. Um, suffice it to say I don't think I've ever done differential equations after college on DA. On the other hand, I've probably done a lot more with macroeconomics than I ever thought I could possibly want to do. You know, when I was sitting there with my electrical engineering head on, So, um, the the you know, it's it's a really world that we operate in, right, Um, if you're and sometimes you don't know what path you're gonna wind up on. Okay, So I think there's a couple of things one is, you know, have a broad perspective is part of your college career. Don't get too, you know, myopic, too narrowly focused. You may find that you have to be very deep into a particular field for you to be effective for you to create the value that you want. Thio, in that case, you know, maybe get a broader brush part of undergrad and go very specific is part of a graduate program. Okay, I think I think folks who try and get very narrow and very niche in just within undergrad um, it's great if they happen to get it right and then But they're gonna find that they're missing a lot. If if it's what they thought was what they wanted to do turns out to be a little bit, you know, off base of where they really like toe spend their time going forward where they really want to focus their career. And in which case, then you're gonna be hard toe kind of make that time up. So that would be My recommendation is, is, you know, in your undergrad take it all in, Think broadly, you know, don't don't necessarily dismiss anything, even if you think it's probably not going to be part of your world. Um and then, you know, as you get a little bit smarter and I would highly recommend if there's if you can get any, you know, work, experience, internships. And like I said, my gig was was working in parallel to going to school. I think that's the ultimate. It's not easy, but it kind of gets you both the real world and the college experience all at the same time. And I think that was one of things that helped me. Uh huh.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? If any, please also discuss your experiences facing adversity, or trying something unusual.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
you know, some some of that might be, you know, more in the realm of life hacks, right? So I so, for example, and this is, you know, just might be amusing, but some people might be able to resonate with it. I you know, I am a horrible mono tasker. Okay, When? When I'm thinking about something, I tend to think deeply about it. So if you're talking and I'm typing, rest assured, I'm not hearing a word you're saying okay, because I'm thinking about what I'm composing. And so, you know, one of the things that you know I've learned over the years is, um to be, um, or active listener, right to be mawr engaged, you know, with people, especially in the roles that I'm in now. And in order for me to do that, I need thio stop myself from certain distractions, right? That's just that's who I am. Not everybody is the same way, right? Um and you know, So So that's just one of those things. I think what I'm trying to say there, where we're trying to raise up is everybody is a little bit different. Everybody white is wired a little bit differently. And I think what? What? What everyone needs. You know, what I would recommend you do is figure out how you interact with, you know, with other people in the rest of the world. And what adjustments, of course. Corrections. Do you potentially need to make Thio thio? Have it be what you want it to be, right? I don't purposely not listen to you when I'm composing something, that's just that's the way I work. So, um you know, I think and and so I don't think there is a universal answer there. And, you know, I would I would be hesitant to try and be prescriptive there now, you know, in terms of adversity, um, you know, if you live a life of no adversity, it's it's kind of an interesting right. You know, we all we all need our crucibles. We all need our challenges. We all need our hills, the climb, our mountains, toe, take whatever. Um the, um I think the you know, my first foray into a turnaround situation. You know, I wasn't necessarily trying something unusual and by intent, but it was certainly a very different thing that I've been involved with. previously. Um, I think, you know, I'm a lot of times you don't necessarily try something unusual. Unusual by intent, but you find yourself in it and then Okay, so how do you work that through? Um, it goes back to me by having, you know, take a step back. Where were you trying to go? What goal were you trying to achieve? If if the adversity is telling you that that that was off base and probably not the right pursuit anymore, then maybe learn something from it, okay? And and course correct. But if this is just, you know, a bigger hill to get over than you realize was gonna be there or you didn't know there was gonna be want it all. You know, if your goal is still you know, the right thing on the other side of it, then you know, take take your skills and abilities and figure out, you know, borrow people around. You might be smarter. Might have been there before, etcetera. And figure out how to how to get to the other side. You get to where you want to go. Um, I know it sounds right. Maybe to say it that way. And any specific example is not gonna be very instructional because it's so context sensitive. Um, but generically, um, you know that that's what it really comes back, Thio. And and you know, not not only goals, but, you know, moral values and things like that. Those air, those air saying those air similar goalposts or similar, you know, stakes in the ground that you can leverage off of. You know, if you know, if you know that something would take you into an area where you're not comfortable operating that way, you know, you gotta you gotta, you know, realize that for yourself, right?

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Wed Oct 14 2020
again. I think it goes back to the broad scope that I mentioned, You know, when we were talking about the college career is don't, um maybe don't try and, you know, get into too much of an Asia or too limited of a scope to early on. Um, now, I realize that I'm saying that when when specialization is becoming, you know, mawr and more and more than Norm. But if if you want a career like mine, which I'd like to say was program, but frankly, it was a random walk. Um, the you need to have a broader set. You need to be, you know, willing to go, you know, more broad and wide and not necessarily is deep in order to in order to have that that kind of experience and and growth, I don't You know, I'm not sure. Yeah, that there could be a you know, somebody who's a brilliant, you know, engineer on a very narrow niche that could become CEO CEO of a startup. Sure, why not? And, you know, you can probably count on two fingers the number of people who ever follow that path successfully. So I think being you know being brought and knowing how to make an organization work, um is, um, is still gonna be a very, very critical skill. Uh, maybe even more so in, in this complicated world of, you know, remote work and social distancing. Quite honestly, um, the so that that would be a critical piece. I do think, um, if you can if you can weave work into your college career sort of simultaneously as compared to sequentially. Like I said, I just think being exposed to the real world in that fashion, if I could say it that way, will help. Um, you know, identify what what are what's really critical out of the college experience, you know, and maybe what's less so, um, And then, um you know, I think the last part of the question here in terms of, you know, do do's and don't, um boy, that that's that's always a little bit of dangerous ground, right? Because everybody is different. Um, and what they want to pursue is potentially different. Um, you know, a couple of obvious ones, and these might be a little bit trite, but, you know, don't mhm if you want to be an actor be an actor, But don't you know, Don't be this ingenuous, right? Or kid yourself about something. You know, if if you are something great, if you are, If you aren't, you know, trying to fake it till you make it, for example, that that expression, um that, uh, you know, if if you know you've got a lot to learn to get to a goal, then you know, maybe that concept works. But, you know, if your you know you're trying to get past somebody you know, in a disingenuous way, that's that's just not going to go very far. You'll get snagged on it for sure. Um, the I would say the dues are, you know, open mindedness. Flexibility. Do not. Um, yeah, don't Don't get too wrapped up around the idea that you know exactly what you're gonna do each year for the next five years. Um, the goal should be clear. The journey should be flexible. This may be a way of saying it, and if you get to programmed around the journey, you might you might follow it precisely and not be where you wanted to be when you're done. Um so those were those would be a couple of things that that I would I would probably recommend