#1: Build a Better World (Be a Designer and a Builder)

Rationale:

  • This is why engineering exists as a discipline. Engineers design the world (airplanes, bridges, computers, ….
  • Designing and building things feels good;  rewording and fun. It is like playing w/ Legos.
  • People pay good money for designs that are well done
  • Super challenging ==> only a small % of people can design things that work and succeed

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Design things, Build them, Get data, Repeat!
  • Avoid being a (critic, a cynic, or a sideliner). Critics never build anything. Nor do cynics or sideliners.
  • Continually learn skills (problem solving, design, …) and knowledge (mechanics, thermal sciences) that are useful for building engineering-relevant things.

#2: Follow Your Heart

Rationale:

  • Do what you are most motivated to do.
  • People who do what they want are super motivated.
  • It is fun to be around high-motivated people

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Find your purpose (mantra)
  • Continually set and reach meaningful goals within the context
  • Take steps forward (always) and laugh in the face of fear
  • Ignore people who tell you to “be realistic.” Hang around people who encourage you to reach your goals.

#3: Enjoy Your Journey

Rationale:

  • If you are not enjoying yourself, it is unlikely that you can put in the hard work that is needed for success.
  • People who are having fun are enjoyable to be around.
  • Being in the flow state (positive emotional state) is essential for learning.
  • The end of the journey is simply an instant in time; authentic happiness comes from enjoying the steps along the journey
  • Life is too short to do things that suck

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Do cool problems. Have fun.
  • Don’t be too serious. Be playful.
  • Monitor emotions. Accept all emotions (both +/-)
  • Focus on the present moment
  • Don’t practice struggling (if you are struggling, this is life’s way of telling you that there is a better way; see if you can find this better way.
  • If you’re not having fun, change your beliefs or change how you are doing things.

#4: Do Things in Simple Ways

Rationale:

  • Simple means fast and easy ==> who doesn’t like this?
  • When tasks seem too hard or complex, this is data that you are doing them in a lousy way.

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Do things well and do them simply (avoid being superficial)
  • Apply the 80/20 rule.
  • Continually searching the research literature to identify the very best practices
  • When something seems too complex, change what you are doing
  • Be patient; finding the simple and easy way to do things take time and engagement.

#5: Results Matter

Rationale:

  • Students who don’t do the work to get meaningful results are wasting their money and their time. Why pay for an education and not get an education?
  • Busywork sucks
  • People will pay for results
  • As a learner I want (knowledge that I remember forever) PLUS (ability to do useful things).

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Set meaningful goals
  • Take steps to reach these goals
  • Be accountable (I will deliver)
  • When something seems too complex, change what you are doing

#6: Collaborate

Rationale:

  • Brings out the best in human spirit
  • Much safer; my team members have my back
  • Much better learning (learn from all)
  • Results are much, much better

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Do Glasser’s 7 Healthy Habits (encouraging, supporting, empathizing, ….)
  • Drive down Glasser’s 7 deadly sins  (criticizing, complaining, blaming, forcing, ….)
  • Set shared purpose together
  • Set meaningful goals together
  • Set and follow values together
  • Build and follow an achievable plan
  • Individuals commit to the team (I’m all in)
  • Ask for help when needed; Provide help when asked.

#7: Be Data Based (CT)

Rationale:

  • Hey, this is the scientific method!
  • Being open to new ideas is central to learning; those who think that they know everything cannot learn
  • Data/Evidence has a much higher likelihood of being correct.
  • Provides a rationale way to explain and discuss
  • Critical thinkers are humble (they don’t have the right answers) ==> humble people are pleasant to be around

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Be open to new ideas; especially those that look weird to you.
  • Evaluate all ideas etc. by using data, evidence and reasoning
  • Be skeptical of your own beliefs
  • Be skeptical of tradition (just because everyone believes that plants revolve around the sun does not make it true).
  • Use the CT framework (issue as I see it ↔ my  reasoning ↔ my  reasoning)
  • Avoid “angry” arguments ==> Embrace
  • Give up (forever) the belief in (right ideas or right answers). Recognize that science/religion/everything changes with time.
  • Change from (I have right ideas) to (I have ideas and some may be right)
  • Ask questions instead of making assertions

#8: Improve (Grow)

Rationale: If you take time to grow, you’ll get better results with less effort and more fun on the next project. Bottom line, the time you invest in your growth provides a 5 to 10X return on your investment.

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Continually search for  process knowledge (best practices)
  • Do the SII Feedback Process regularly
  • Do the Lessons Learned Process regularly

#9: Get Knowledge Down (Know your Stuff)

Rationale:

  • Nearly anything you want to do or know about has been figured out in large part. Why not leverage the collective wisdom of human kind?
  • Knowledge provides the foundation for more learning.
  • Did you invent the light bulb? Have you found a cure for cancer? What have you done that suggests that you are anything beyond ordinary ??? Get real
  • This provides openess that is essential to learning and to collaboration

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Asking questions. What does this mean? Why would I want to know this? How do I do this? What are the fundaments?
  • Reading a ton of books/articles/website
  • Relentlessly taking notes
  • Building schema

#10 Uncompromising Integrity

Rationale:

  • Be able to look in the mirror
  • Never have to worry about something coming back on you; no land mines in the closet

Aligned Behaviors:

  • Align your words and actions; Walk your talk
  • Never cheat
  • Never con or misrepresent
  • Follow professional ethics
  • Behave the same regardless of whether anyone else will know