- CAD Managers – Working on the Core
- CAD Managers – Working on the Core (more) 
- CAD Managers – Working on the Core (more and more) 
- CAD Managers – Working on the Core (the rest) 
As those that workout know, the Core is the center of the body that drives every other area. It is that band of muscles that encircles your mid section from just below your shoulder blades to your hips. Many think that working the Core will deliver the best exercise routine as it is mixed with other workouts. I am not a workout expert (other than knowing how to avoid doing them), but know that any time this core area is ignored, it affects every area of the body.
For a CAD Manager, the core is the central perspectives and beliefs that drive them to action. The Core motivates, outlines, circumscribes, defines and restricts every decision, action and outcome that they are involved in. Get the Core right and you get more done, motive more people (including yourself), inspire and encourage others. Get it wrong and you may cripple your CAD efforts, derail you decision making and tangle your team into knots.
CAD Managers that have worked on the core know that it separates them from the crowd. They have moved from Good to Better, then to Best and often to Extraordinary. They seem to have the best perspectives on approaching problems, making things happen and getting things done. This all starts from some deeply held stances that influence every day of their work life.
Here is the beginnings of a list of Core items that set a CAD Manager on a path to being Extraordinary.
1. The workplace should be a positive environment, not a battlefield.
Average CAD Managers see CAD Management as a collection of job functions that need to be completed on a daily basis. They go through the paces and get things done, but there is no spark that ignites their fire for long periods of time. They are meeting the job description, but not moving past it. They have settled into a routine and they like it. It works, it is easy and it meets the requirements. When someone challenges their turf, they stall, argue, deflect or delay.
Extraordinary CAD Managers see CAD Management as a career to continually grow into. Each day brings another opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge about CAD software, processes, enhancements and structures. They go beyond the job description and actually expand it. They do not settle for less that their best, at all times. They work hard to make the workplace better. They do not look to others to make it a better place, they do it themselves. They avoid conflict and seek to make teams work better.
2. Constant improvement is a way of life
Average CAD Managers survive on past innovation and occasional improvements. They seem to settle into ruts of production processes that never change. They cling to past ways of doing things even when software upgrades make them obsolete. They are not looking for innovation and actually will struggle slightly against others who seem to want to innovate.
Extraordinary CAD Managers constantly look for ways to improve on all areas of CAD production. They sift through ideas of others. Gather input from just about anyone. They keep their eyes open and think about what might not be working best. When they spot a problem they do not complain – they fix. When they hit a roadblock, they figure out a way around it. When they are challenged by others that do not want to make things better but want to keep the status quo, they seek ways to convince them to move forward. They do not settle for good enough.