Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Bus driver strives to be the best

by Asim Jalis

Link to the Seattle Times article. Here are some excerpts from the article: 1. [Michael Grady, a Seattle bus-driver, strives to be the best. On the job] Grady is strategizing: Did I make that turn smoothly? Was I close enough to the curb? Am I the best? 2. Grady, an Eastside driver for King County Metro, is heading to the state "roadeo" in Yakima, where he'll compete behind the wheel of a 40-foot bus to defend his title as the state's best driver. 3. "The speed of the bus in combination with the rhythm of the steering is what makes it all come together," he says, wiping his brow. 4. Grady, who describes himself as competitive, cautions against practicing too much. "You start microscrutinizing yourself, and then you make mistakes. I have the skill, so the mental game is the key factor." 5. "I've gotten better and better over the years," he says. "Now I have to follow it through." My thoughts: 1. The process of continuous improvement can make any job incredibly fun. In fact it can make it exhilarating. 2. To improve you must first measure how you are doing now. To measure you must first define what you mean by being good. 3. There must be a feedback loop. In Grady's case it is winning the Roadie. In all cases there must a concrete outcome from all of the work. There must be a way to validate one's skill.