Hello, everyone! My name is Cory, and I work as a software designer for a privately held healthcare software company in Charlotte, NC. Our products include clinical documentation and patient/staff/asset-tracking tools targeted at hospital emergency and perioperative departments.

My title is Director of Research and Development, and I lead the company's analysis and design team. I do the business analysis, requirements definition, and core product design for all new applications and major upgrades. I'm extremely fortunate to draw on the talents of my three-person team: a great software analyst/technical writer, a creative graphic artist, and arguably one of the best user-interface designers in the country. Soon, I'll be hiring another technical communicator and, if I'm fortunate enough to get approval, a data architect/designer.

I've been with the company since 1997, when I was hired as the first (and only) employee--designing, programming, installing, and supporting the software. Over the years, we hired a few people, but we didn't really start growing until we were acquired by another company in November of 2004. Two years later, I have a growing team to lead and manage.

Obviously, I'm a techie at heart. And I'm a teacher and technical communicator by training. I feel that I'm great at painting a vision, and I love bringing on young, inexperienced people who I can teach and mentor. However, [i]management[/i] is tough for me. I really enjoy teaching, mentoring, and coaching (in the positive sense). But I don't much like the oversight and evaluation parts (yes, Mark, I know it's neither sexy nor glamorous, but it makes all the difference). Moreover, a major internal struggle I face is the conflict between [i]wanting[/i] to be a designer, teacher, and leader and [i]needing[/i] to be a manager to advance the goals of the organization--and my career.

So . . . I can either whine about it, or I can work to do the best job possible. And that's where Manager Tools comes in. I've been listening for about a month now, and Mark and Mike have inspired me to step up, stop being a slacker, and give my team the management they deserve. The one-on-ones have started, I'm using the feedback model, I'm working with everyone on their professional development, and I've started working on delivering great reviews--a deficiency I got dinged for on [i]my[/i] last review. (Although in my defense, nobody ever tells us how to do reviews, or even what the ratings mean. They just hand us a couple forms and give us a deadline. I am so grateful to Mark and Mike for giving me some direction.)

Thank you, guys. You make an enormous difference in a lot of careers. You've actually inspired me. When the premium content comes out, I'll sign up. When Mark's book is published, I definitely want a signed copy. I will continue to wait for each week's podcast . . . and work my way through the archives in between.

One final comment to everyone reading. If you don't do podcasting yourself, don’t underestimate the enormous expense that Mark and Mike are incurring. With as many listeners as they have, the bandwidth charges have to be mind boggling. Not to mention the amount of time it takes to prepare for the casts, record them, and do editing and post-production work (Mike, all I can say is, "Way to go, you!"). I know I certainly wouldn't be offended if I ever heard, "This is the Manager Tools podcast, with bandwidth provided by XYZ Corporation . . ." Manager Tools is one of the few high-quality podcasts I've heard that doesn't have some kind of sponsor.

Thanks again, guys. I couldn't do it without you--a fact that my bosses and co-workers are getting sick of hearing. Maybe they'll finally take my advice and listen for themselves.

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Thanks for such a great introduction! We're glad you're with us, and that you're USING what we recommend. Also thrilled that you're inspired to be a better manager... your team is benefiting, and that IS great management.

It's a privilege to serve those who know their job is to serve.