Achievement and Vulnerability; Living With Both.

I’ll admit it, I’m a guy that get’s things done. I’ve always been driven to achievement or accomplishment. I typically think my way through things. When given a tough problem to solve, I look at the problem from several angles and plan my course of action. There may be a few detours along the way, but typically, I get to my destination.

I recently got back from China. It was both a detour and a destination. I always wanted to live abroad, but it was consulting that took me there and not product management. I learned a lot from my consulting work in China. Not only did I learn about the Chinese, about how the they conduct business, but most importantly, I learned a lot about myself. After living in China for over a year, I decided to return to the US and to Silicon Valley.

I had known from previous experiences that once you achieve a major goal, there is usually a period of reflection and adjustment. As I reflect on my career, I realized how much I love product management. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time in China and wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I achieved a life-long dream of living abroad, meeting new friends, and experiencing the other side of the world.

Now back to my thoughts about reflection and achievement. My daughter Amanda Haataia recommended I watch a few Ted Talks. Today, I watched Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability. I realized that I have been so driven toward achievement that I was having a difficult time returning to the US and being just another guy.  I’m learning lessons about how I think and know that it will make me a better product manager.

I will still strive to achieve and get things done, but I have to realize the impact on those around me. Whether it’s the development team, marketing, your friends or family, just because things don’t get done as fast as you would like it, continue to think about better and fasters ways to get it done, but have peace with yourself and those around you in the process.  It’s a much better way.

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