Effective Engineering 
                Consulting Services
                                           "Helping Engineering Excel!"

Our Premise
The Problem
Our Promise
Our Approach
Our Deliverables
Case Study
Our Results
Our People
Contact Us


Back to e-Newsletter Archives:

 Effective Engineering e-Newsletter – 6/04/2009

This is your monthly e-Newsletter from
Effective Engineering Consulting Services (www.effectiveeng.com).  If you would like to receive Effective Engineering e-newsletters as they are published, please send an email to e-newsletter@effectiveeng.com, and we will add you to our distribution list.  Comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged!


A Fresh Start! – Part III – Birth and Rebirth

  By Tom Dennis – President, Effective Engineering [tdennis@effectiveeng.com]

In the past I’ve written twice about Fresh Starts.  The first (see eN-060302 – A Fresh Start!) spoke to the value of a positive attitude in any fresh start, whether that fresh start was voluntary or involuntary.  The second (see eN-080103 – A Fresh Start! – Part II) spoke to the ways any changes in your life, from new assignments, to new jobs, to new locations, to whatever, require fresh starts in actions and attitudes, and what you can do to make them the best experiences they can be.  So what else can be new about fresh starts?

In late January our daughter Melissa and son-in-law Dan gave birth to our first grandchild, a beautiful baby boy named Jack!  You simply can’t get a fresher start than with a newborn.  You get a chance to look at the world through his eyes where absolutely everything is new.  He just came from a dark, quiet, constantly warm liquid world into a bright, noisy, cold and constantly changing world with new sights, new sounds, new surroundings, and new and strange people (whatever they are to him).  Talk about change!  Jack was born about a month early, and so faced more challenges than most other newborns, although thankfully fewer than others.  A little peanut at about 4˝ pounds, he spent twelve days in a neo-natal intensive care unit getting around-the-clock care with his Mom and Dad almost constantly close-by for care and feeding to get him past the early dangers he was facing.  He has grown substantially, now at 4 months and about 12 pounds and growing every day.  He is a joy to behold!

It all gives a new perspective on a fresh start.  A baby comes into the world totally dependent on those around him or her, primarily the parents, but also grandparents, doctors, nurses, friends, and others.  Babies communicate by cooing, crying, smiling, squirming, stretching, eating, spitting, pooping, peeing, and yes, laughing.  New sights and sounds come to them every day, as eyesight sharpens and more and more comes into focus, and as sounds morph from pure cacophony to melodious as eyes, ears and brain start to make sense of what’s going on around them.  The same is true for the other senses of taste, touch, and smell.  New people are constantly holding them, making noises, touching, cooing, and doing all the other strange things grown-ups and children do.  And what are those furry things with cold noses that come by to smell and lick?  What a terrific experience it can be for everyone! 

As a new grandparent, a new baby provides opportunities observed but never fully appreciated until it happens to you.  You get to spend time to play with your grandchild and enjoy all the great new sights and sounds through the baby’s senses, but at the end of the day you get to give the baby back to the parents so you don’t suffer through the sleepless nights and constant changing’s.  You get all of the benefits with few of the consequences.  What a great concept!

At the same time all of this was going on, serendipity came in and gave me another fresh start of different kind.  Shortly before Melissa left work on maternity leave she had been asked to set up a new group in her company to centralize the building of “products” in her company, basically production and quality.  This is a production and quality group, but not in a traditional sense, since their product is customized automated interactive call programs, and not traditional physical products.  She was tied up in the busy account management activities she performed very well, and was having difficulty finding the time to get this new group up and running.  Since I’ve been involved in setting up quality groups of one kind or another, among many other responsibilities throughout my career, I offered to help out on a volunteer basis.  She mentioned this to her bosses, and they said they’d be willing to pay for my services (sounded good to me! :-)).  I then came in and met with her boss, and he asked if I could come in as a consultant to set up the group and manage it while Melissa was on maternity leave.  I’ve been able to get the new group up and running well, pending Melissa’s return.  Melissa returned at the end of April, and decided jointly with her bosses that her continuing on the account management side of the business made the most sense for the company and for her, and as a consequence I’m still there, likely at least through the end of the year.  What are the odds of something like this happening?  As I’ve said before, serendipity can change your life! (see also eN-080306 – Serendipity Can Change Your Life!)

So, we’ve got birth and rebirth, and some serious fresh starts!  So, that’s a nice story and congratulations and all that, but what does this all mean to anyone else?

When you find yourself in a totally new situation, you may find yourself dependent on others until you become acclimated and comfortable with your new surroundings and your role in your new world.  You will likely find this dependence an uncomfortable circumstance, but one which you initially have little control over.  Live with this as may be necessary, but move past it as quickly as you can to stand on your own and prosper.  Recognize as you go through a period of dependence, that while you may be dependent on others for some things, you may find that others become at least partially dependent on you for other things.  Work together so that you can all experience a rebirth and learn from and grow with each other.

What’s change to you or me, even in changing a job or moving a distance, pales in comparison to the constant change a new baby undergoes, where absolutely everything is brand new.  At least for you or me the territory is somewhat familiar and you have some understanding of what you’re getting into, whether you asked for it or not.  We all undergo a lot of changes, perhaps not every day like a newborn, but still changes that can be unsettling and disruptive.  The key is what you do with them?  Do you embrace the changes, viewing them as an opportunities for a rebirth (of mind, body, and spirit), or do you fight them every step of the way?  There are some changes that may be unacceptable, and need to be fought, but not all changes.  As in the serenity prayer, learn to accept those things you cannot change, have the courage to change those things you can, and gain the wisdom to know the difference. 

For those things you cannot change, accept and embrace the change.  Be open to change, and recognize that it can be what you make of it.  If you view change as a negative, it will be so because your attitude and approach will make it so.  A poor attitude in the face of change will generally have more impact on you than on others around you, but your poor attitude can have negative consequences on those around you as well.  Don’t drag others down with you!  If you view change as a positive, make every effort to make it a positive for those around you as well.  A fresh start can be a truly exciting time, a rebirth that gives new spirit and promise to everyone in an organization.  Use it as your launching pad to a new and exciting future.

Look for and identify opportunities when you see them.  They often come from the most unexpected places and can totally change your life, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.  Recognize the direction of your fresh start and adapt accordingly.  Birth and rebirth can be extraordinary times to learn and grow and prosper.  Take advantage of the opportunities whenever they occur!

Copyright © 2009 Effective Engineering Consulting Services, All Rights Reserved

Back to e-Newsletter Archives:


Society of Professional Consultants


Copyright © 2002-2013 Effective Engineering Consulting Services, All Rights Reserved