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Intro: Welcome to the E6S-Methods podcast with Jacob and Aaron, your weekly dose of tips and tricks to achieve excellent performance in your business and career. Join us as we explore deeper into the practical worlds of Lean, Six Sigma, Project Management and Design Thinking (and other stuff). In this episode number 143, we speak with Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, husband, "cornerman" and author, Raymond Poole, about his life lessons when dealing with hospitals, family and a career while his wife battles with life-threatening Cystic Fibrosis - all in his new book, Lessons from a CF Cornerman: one caregiver’s guide to keeping your chin down and your head up. I hope you enjoy this episode and invite all your comments. If you like this episode, be sure to click the "like" link in the show notes. It's easy. Just tap our logo, click and you're done. Tap-click-done! Here we go. http://bit.ly/E6S-143 Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes
*** Focus from a Cornerman's Perspective***
I Ray Poole Biography:
Husband of a woman with CF
Ray Poole is a husband to Rebecca Poole who was born with cystic fibrosis. A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical and Materials Engineering and later Indiana University with a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), Ray has recently worked as an Engineering Manager and a Product Manager in the electrical industry.
Ray became involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) and was named “Milwaukee’s Finest” and later became a member of the Wisconsin CFF Leadership Board. Ray holds a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has trained and competed in several martial arts including Muay Thai and Jujitsu which influenced the title of his pending book.
Ray is currently writing a book Lessons from a CF Cornerman which will be released in the October 2016. To learn more about their story, visit www.CFCornerman.com. Enter your email address on the contact page for release updates. The book’s Facebook page is “Lessons from a CF Cornerman” and can be found on twitter as @CFCornerman.
II Title: LESSONS FROM A CF CORNERMAN: One caregiver’s guide to keeping your chin down and your head up
Excerpts from the Introduction:
It was December 31, 2014, New Year’s Eve morning, and I woke up with an optimistic attitude. I had completed the self-assessment portion of my job performance review the previous afternoon and gave myself stellar marks. With a few days off for the holiday, I had the morning all to myself and planned to be productive. I was going to watch and delete several shows from our ever-growing DVR hard drive. I even planned to do some dishes while I watched. Maybe I would hit the gym then pack some supplies for our New Year’s celebration in the hospital. Also, my wife was in the hospital.
It’s not that I was unconcerned about her current situation, but we had dealt with this so many times before. Rebecca suffered from cystic fibrosis (CF), and when she started to feel sick, the standard treatment was hospitalization and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. This was so common for someone with CF that it was called a “tune-up.” During the past few years, Becca was averaging two tune-ups per year. But 2014 had been a bit more challenging, and this was tune-up number six.
Scanning the DVR recordings, it was clear we were way behind on our shows, and that I had recorded a large collection of movies that I had little interest in watching. Unfortunately, a day of moderately interesting movies and some minor cleaning was not in the cards. My phone rang and I saw it was Rebecca calling.
To my surprise, it was not Rebecca—it was the doctor. I knew immediately that something was wrong because the doctors never called me. Rebecca knew her condition inside and out, knew her medical history, and knew her treatment plans and medications. I couldn’t add anything of value. The only reason for the doctor to call me was because Rebecca could not...
He asked if I was coming in and I said I was. There was something to his tone that suggested that this could be the last time I would see Rebecca. It hit me right in the chest. There was nothing at all ‘routine’ about this tune-up.
I went upstairs to get dressed. I came downstairs without my pants. I went back upstairs to find a different shirt. I came back down to look for my backpack. After what seemed like an eternity (but was probably closer to five minutes) I was marginally closer to being ready to leave. This was when I made myself stop. In that moment I realized that all I had to do was show up. I did not have to bring a bunch of supplies; I did not need to perform any kind of surgery. In fact, I did not need to know what to do.
This was the first of many major lessons I learned as this nightmare began:
III Sky Rocketing Career, Sunk Costs, and a New Real Perspective
a. You're a career superstar. LSS Black Belt, highly skilled in engineering, management, moving into global product marketing for some large cutting edge companies, and then this new reality kicks in, and none of that matters.
i. In the back of your mind, did you always know to be prepared, or was it a sudden realization?
ii. Despite "mentally" having prepared for what is considered "inevitable" for CF, emotionally, how prepared were you?
b. Excerpt from CFF,org Blog:
i. When Rebecca finally awoke in February, we had a whole new situation in front of us. Her body was atrophied. She was unable to walk, confused and unable to remember, on a ventilator and unable to qualify for a transplant. But … she was awake. All of the things I had wanted to tell her in January, I could tell her. Anything unfinished or unsaid could be resolved. I knew I would not be staying with my company for much longer, but suddenly, I did not care. My priorities shifted from holding onto my career as it was, to accepting that I could get another job. Perspective had shown that the most important thing was being there with her. I was either going to help her qualify for a transplant or enjoy our last days together as much as possible. https://www.cff.org/CF-Community-Blog/Posts/2016/Changing-Perspectives-Lessons-of-a-CF-Caregiver/
IV 38 Lessons:
a. You describe ~38 lessons in your book. Of these lessons, which one or two do you hold closest to you?
b. Many of these lessons are very profound and applicable to living a good healthy life. Some of them are very pointed. Can you share the story behind these?
i. 27. There’s a thin line between telling a nurse how to do their job and advocating for a loved one. Be aware of it, but know when to dig your heels in.
ii. 33. When you realize that someone’s disrespectful actions will continue, address them head on.
c. These few I found particularly profound:
i. 7. Do not mourn for somebody that is alive.
ii. 8. Two steps forward and one step back is still an improvement.
iii. 13. Every day may not be a good day, but recognize that it is good to have that day.
iv. 36. The point is not to have a beautiful moment on that last day; the point is to have a beautiful relationship.
V Our listeners consist of career hungry people, who are continually looking for that next edge, to personally and professionally improve. Based on your professional and personal challenges combined, what insights or advice would you offer for them?
VI Excerpt from Preface:
a. Almost 30 years in martial arts has led to national championship matches, full contact bouts, and a focus on continual improvement. Throughout all of this, I learned that nobody can do it alone as I always had someone in my corner. Whether they were encouraging me, coaching me, or simply being present, their support was critical. A good cornerman does not only offer tactical instruction, but more importantly, he knows his fighter. He knows their strengths and weaknesses and how to motivate them to do their best. He looks at the fight from a unique perspective and helps them refocus when necessary. But the one thing he cannot do is fight the fight for them. You dodge and move, get riled up, and suffer with every shot they take, fully aware that they are the ones taking every shot.
*** Focus from a Cornerman's Perspective-***
Outro: Thanks for listening to episode 143 of the E6S-Methods podcast. Don't forget to click "like" or "dislike" for this episode in the show notes. Tap-click-done! If you have a question, comment or advice, leave a note in the comments section or contact us directly. Feel free to email me "Aaron", firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our website, we reply to all messages. If you heard something you like, then Clammr and share it. Don't forget you can find notes and graphics for all shows and more at www.E6S-Methods.com. "Journey Through Success. If you're not climbing up, you're falling down." Leave a Review! http://bit.ly/E6S-iTunes