Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do Your Best Today

I've written several blogs about being a parent , a husband , and a son.

Today's blog is about a simple statement my daughter made that applies to every one one of my roles.

She said "Do Your Best Today".

These words are important to me.

Life as a CIO is really not a job, it's a lifestyle. I really do not know what each day will bring. There could be great joys of lives saved through the innovative use of IT. There could be budget stresses, conflict, or politics. There could be unexpected new project priorities or a particularly satisfying consensus about a strategic path forward.

As I wrote in my Setting Expectations blog entry, it is very challenging to judge the success of each day, each week, or each year because there are few specific objective criteria that meet the definition of success for all stakeholders.

The simple objective way I can judge my progress is by knowing I did my best today.

* I treated my customers with respect and listened to their needs, even if I could not implement every one of their requests
* I navigated the politics of every situation without criticizing others or inflating my own self importance
* I left the stress at the office behind and brought laughter to our family dinner
* I put aside my email and helped work through a complex question on my daughter's chemistry homework (why is the surface tension of Acetone higher than Ethanol despite the hydrogen bonding in Ethanol that should create higher inter-molecular forces)
* I supported my employees through challenging decision making processes
* I moved forward every project as much as it could be moved, including a new breakthrough in community clinical data exchange
* I helped my parents choose a new digital television for their kitchen
* I spoke with the press to speculate on the next steps needed to enhance rollout of electronic health records nationwide
* I taught a course to MBA students at Boston University eager to find opportunities in stimulus-related work
* I fixed a clogged bathtub drain

As a parent, I want my daughter to be successful, but my definition of success is mine, not hers. I could tell her "Get straight A's in your honors classes today" or "Do amazing extracurricular activities that appeal to Ivy League Universities". Instead, "Do Your Best Today" empowers her to set priorities - personal, educational, and family. She'll learn to triage the most important tasks and over time she'll learn the joy of success instead of the fear of failure.

We'll all have good days and bad days, high highs and low lows.

Do Your Best Today. You'll be okay.


JDvorak said...


So true. Too often people forget what should be their driving force each and every day; be it family, personal and professional.
Do your best, and listen to "Cats in the Cradle" every now and again; it will keep you focused.



Robert said...

Would your friend's Google records be considered an EMR and of use to their doctors?

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