In this first of a series of blog posts I want to introduce you to some different managers that I have had a pleasure, or not so pleasure, to learn from in my career path. One of my first managers was a very interesting individual.  He was very smart when it came to the technical information that was needed to do his job successfully but when it came to people skills he was, well let’s say, lacking.  All in all he was a great guy and because I was so young he became a great mentor for me and helped in growing my skills.  One of the best lessons that he once explained to me was the theory of a “toolbox”.
In this toolbox you put the good tools that you learn so that you can utilize them in the future.  This toolbox is metaphorical, of course, but the skills that are locked inside are very much real and contribute to your growth as a personal and professional.  Now an individual can have many sections in their toolboxes.  One area may be for tools that help you to be a great family person. These tools can be as simple as how to make a killer tomato and cheese sandwich to more complex tools such as saving money for a rainy day.  Another area may hold the tools that allow you to be a great mentor to another individual.  Yet another area is your professional tools that help make you a success.  The tools that are loaded into your toolbox are up to you and everyone has a toolbox rather they know it or not.  People learn different things as they go through life and these things become tools that are placed in the toolbox.  It is better to be aware of the tools in your toolbox so that you realize what makes you up as a person.

You may be thinking at this point “so what about the bad tools?”. Basically you toss out the bad tools, set them aside but don’t forget them. Even the bad tools have a lesson to teach us.  But I will get into that more in future posts. For now remember that recognizing the tools that you have in your toolbox will help you to grow as an individual.  Sometimes you need to clean your toolbox out and get rid of the bad tools that may be a bit rusty or dull.  Keep your eyes open as you progress in life and get the nice shiny tools that will help you be better as an individual. This not only helps you grow but also helps you to grow others.

Blog by: Thomas Stambaugh, C.M. 

Co-Founder of The Engaged Human Resources Group