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« When Preparation Meets Opportunity. | Main | To Forgive. »

March 16, 2012



I just wish it worked that way at my company. Usually the senior guy (especially recently) seems to want to micro-manage everything……


Sometimes, we engineers get habit of making competition when we see issue. Roger Roger Who brings forward more problems. You are correct, we forget what the main purpose.


To that Mr. Dowd replied ”Yes I know. That is why I asked you to take the project. If they were easy then I would have found someone else and not bothered with you.”

But some times the “you” involved may or may not have the skill to find the solution. Perhaps light on the project from everyone might help secure the answers


Can’t agree more as I present the current quality issues today. My goal is to first find the problems and then develop a plan to solve them. If there be no problems to solve, I don’t have a job  Thinking like this has helped me when stress goes high when we are in the middle of dealing with major issues..

Only side effect of doing this day in and day out, as one mentor mentioned to me onetime after he retired is that this urge to solve problems continues to linger and stress feelings comes back even when you are not working 

Semi Guy

Thanks for the sharing the "Manila assignment" story. It is at good timing because our supplier is just about to transfer some critical products to their factory in Philippines. I will forward it to them.Not only I, but they also need to overcome the culture difference b/w Philippines and my country,try to work it out


It is a good thing to remind ourselves.. thanks for sharing!!


What is good managing, and what is effective coaching?
There are cases like the CEO Edward Rust Jr. who said that the best advice he ever received were 2 simple phrases from his father: "You know better.."; and "You can do better, can't you?"

In contrast, I'll bet that the big man manager Mr. Dowd felt good after chastising his trusted employee(s). In his situation, perhaps he was justified in his disappointed at low ROI from his team, despite high expectations. Or, maybe the point was to induce a wake-up call in them, and maybe it works for some people who need that slap in the face. But not necessarily, because some people hope that their managers won't treat them like prostitutes.

It may be a lot to expect, but some employees :
*hope that a good manager knows how to brief them on the expectations, before the big business trip;
*hope that the manager will touch base with them a few times to confirm progress and provide advice midway; and
*hope that upon returning with a list of problems, and *yes* proposed solutions(which may cost time and money), the manager will be willing to give effective advice and guidance.

So I'm sure Mr. Dowd felt important after that reprimand to his team. But did it bring him closer to getting his problems solved? I imagine that he was most fortunate to have you as his next hopeful option.


WOW !!!!

Lot of learning in this short story . Thanks for sharing .


Yes, this is the reason we all have jobs - to fix things which are broken (perceived or not-perceived).


To Micro CEO;
Mr. Dowd was VP and GM of our division and a very kind, reasonable and generous man. The team that was sent to Manila to solve problems was "All Stars" of Assembly Technology and Manfacturing "experts".

They spent more than a month in Manila. Their presentation, though very data rich, did not really bring solutions but reporting of more issues that subcontractor was screwed up. We already knew that before they were sent.
BTW: The Rookie, who was sent after that team of experts, solved the problems in less than 3 months with 8% yield improvement in large volume production line. He had no prior experience in assembly but a lot of common sense and some wafer fab background. That is another story for another day.


Cannot help but ponder about the competition in our field, and the velocity with which corporations are running ahead! Of course there are so many problems, and you are right, it is so easy to get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problem at hand, but hey! that's what we get paid for! But what if you do a substandard job at solving the problem (like the picture below)? :-)


Very nice post and valuable lesson to always keep in mind. Thanks!

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