From Good To Great
蠡貹櫜 06/13 3646
Toastmaster Speech #10 - inspire your audience
Your kid came back from school, he declared with enthusiasm: “Mom, Dad, I passed the math test, I got a B"! Your heart instantly sank. “B”? You turned into an ugly face :(
To many of us, B is NOT acceptable. We feel shameful if we got a B ourselves. How about A-? That is still not an A! What do we do to our kids when they don’t get an A? Make them feel guilty, no movies, no TV, send them to weekend schools, find a tutor, monitor their homework every day..., until they get an A!
Friends, my speech subject is “from Good to Great”. Obviously, the spirit of being Great, is already in our blood.
But wait! Is there anything wrong here? I have to ask you to step back. Why do you want your kids to have A instead of A-, B, or C? You want him to be admitted into a good college, or when he is in a good college, you want him to be the top student so you and he both look good …, and so he can find a good job … There are many reasons that you put so much emphasis in the test scores. Many students end up going after a high test score for the sake of a high test score. You may have forgotten one thing: The Spirit. There is NO spirit in that pursuit of high test scores. Could we do it differently, by cultivating a spirit of achieving perfection in everything we do? Imagine, iPhone wouldn’t be so successful if Steve Jobs was satisfied with a good enough product. Back to the test scores, is your kid making effort to understand the class material? Is he disciplined enough to dig deep in learning the material and ask questions when he does not understand something? Does he have a strong will to find a solution when he runs into a tough problem? If the answers to the 3 questions are yes, move on, A or B really doesn’t matter anymore.
Let me summarize: Effort, discipline, and will. These are the three key words in my prior 3 questions I want you to remember. These are the three elements that distinguish “the Great” from “the Good”!
I’d like to share a story about myself in product management. I work for Intel and we design server CPUs that power 98% of the data centers in the world. My team’s focus is on high-speed communication interfaces, which happen to operate at the highest frequency in a CPU. In other words, it is the most difficult section to design, and it is not abnormal if a few percent and sometimes double digit percent of our manufactured parts do not pass the tough quality screening process, largely because of design margin issues. My team covers a product in a broad spectrum of its start to end life cycle, including advanced circuit and architecture research, circuit design & innovation, problem debug and high volume manufacturing. Needless to say, in our day to day execution, we run into a lot of engineering problems that require a strong dedication from team members. There is one discipline I asked my team members to apply to their job: when you find a problem, try to understand it, and if you still don’t understand it, make sure that you bring it up so we collectively can understand it and solve it. My faith is that, when there is a problem, there is a solution. With the dedication, the discipline, and a strong will, we have been able to achieve great results. In one of the best-selling server CPU product, the contribution of bad parts from my team was less than 0.5 percent, at which point we stopped spending effort due to the diminishing return. This has set a historic record and a new bar for complex SOC products, thanks to the dedication, the discipline and the strong will of my team members. We did not do anything but following the spirit of "Greatness".
“Greatness is not a function of circumstances. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” A quote by Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”. Whether we are managing a team, building an organization, such as our TVC toastmaster Club, or raising a kid, it is up to us to cultivate a spirit of rejecting mediocrity, and accepting only greatness.
So, specific to our toastmaster club, why are we here? We are here to improve our speech and communication skills. We are here to develop our leadership skills. (Slogan – “Toastmaster, where leaders are made!” For new members, I will give you more insight to tie speech and leadership later.) As your new VP of Membership, I will work with each of you, the members, and assist our new club officers, to enhance our club’s vision, and set up clear expectation and realistic goals for the coming year, and to come up with an easy to execute strategy, so we stay above the average, way above the average, to make greatness out of every member, and out of our club. I want to ask you to remember, we are here because we have a choice to bring the greatness out of ourselves. To get you from here to there, all we need are: Effort, Discipline, and Will.