Tom Brown, Executive Director of Manufacturing, Quality and Logistics at Brewer Science, was invited to speak at Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Chapter of National Society of Leadership and Success. He presented a topic that is instilled in our company and encouraged students to travel down a pathway of impact with his talk, “Make a Difference Beyond Today.”
The talk revolved around the central theme of how your ability to affect others can be magnified by continuing your personal development. That impact becomes your legacy. To provide a tangible benefit to the students, Tom moved from the philosophical topic of “Make a Difference Beyond Today” to using continuous improvement as a tool to get there. Tom referenced the PDCA Cycle, which stands for Plan, Do, Check and Act, that was created by Edwards Deming in the 50’s but is still just as valid today.
It starts with a vision. It does not have to be a formal roadmap with specific milestones, but
you need to be clear about where you want to go. Tom recommends the book, Find Your Why by Simon Sinek to help you bring clarity to your purpose. “Happiness comes from what we do but fulfillment comes from why we do it,” is one inspiring quote from Sinek.
Start moving and acting towards achieving your vision. Focus on outcomes and impacts, not just simply the act or activity. What you think does not define you. What you do and how you act defines you.
Refer to your vision to ensure you’re on track. Are you still chasing your “why”? Tom recommends using the KSS Query. What do you need to Keep Doing, Start Doing & Stop Doing to help you reach your vision?
After reflecting on your progress, adjust and continue to improve. If you become stagnant, negativity will follow. To Tom, your actions are black and white… or should I say green or brown? One of my favorite quotes from the talk was, “You are either Green and Growing or Ripe and Rotting,” attributable to Ray Kroc, among others.
Your vision will change and adapt as your life continues to grow. That is why you must constantly reevaluate and adjust. A vision is a wonderful gift, but a vision without action is simply a dream. Now update your plan and continue the cycle towards your vision.
Making It Happen
Look at all facets of your life to ensure balance - school, work, family, health, and spirituality. All these areas can affect you and your future. Therefore, it is important that you make sure you are keeping them in balance and harmony. Do you have the right “team” around you, and are you being the best teammate? You are not alone. Share your vision with your teammates, family, and friends to keep you accountable. With a positive mindset you will make a difference in the life of others and yourself. That is how your impact goes beyond today.
By continuously improving, you affect not only your life but also the lives around you. While Tom Brown’s talk at Missouri Science and Technology was addressed to students on an individual level, the advice is applicable to any person, no matter their progress within their career. Additionally, the advice is a testament to the success of Brewer Science. We seek to continuously improve our processes, our people, and our community—they’re what makes us the thought leaders of technology and allows us the trailblazing thinking to continue creating innovative microdevices. Learn more about Brewer Science’s company values.