Executive Core Competencies

Greetings-

It is no secret that I have career aspirations of being an executive one day. With 16 years of state service in and approximately 24 years to go, there is plenty of time. In 2009, I had a one year audition as an Interim Chief Information Officer, and that was before I was 30 years old. After that assignment ended, I put the pause on those aspirations and focused on building a family, which took much longer than anticipated. I gained valuable insights and experience from that CIO opportunity, but at age 38, I decided to reflect as it has been said that with age comes wisdom. Which begs the question: how close am I?

I perused the opm.gov list of Executive Core Qualifications. After reviewing the list, I couldn’t help but chuckle as there are many parallels with my role as a parent of multiples. As a result, I think my experience as a triplet dad will ultimately make me a better executive down the road, and here’s why:

EQ1: Leading Change

Not many parents have changed the amount of diapers I have…haha. All jokes aside, this competency involves

  • Creativity and innovation – this covers everything from keeping three unique individuals entertained, fed, loved and happy
  • Flexibility – rapidly adapting to new skills and abilities from all 3 kids, changing routines and sleep schedules, different paces of cognitive development
  • Resilience – functioning under pressure such as the ups and downs of the NICU stay, bouts of illness (RSV), and just dealing with being challenged daily by 3 little minds that feel compelled to see what they can get away with thanks to their cuteness *grin*
  • Strategic thinking – finding time to chart out their future, or at least the critical elements of the framework we want to put in place to ensure a bright future for each of them…you know, 529 account contributions, ensuring we have adequate life insurance policies in place, finalizing a will, etc.

EQ2: Leading People

My father was an officer in the Navy (Bravo Zulu), and I was always in awe of the respect he commanded when I would accompany him on base, and even after he retired and was a project manager as a civilian. As their father, I am their de facto leader, and they certainly follow my lead. I set the tone and standard, and given they are sponges, they soak up the examples I lead by.

  • Conflict management – you can imagine the kinds of conflict my wife and I have to deal with. We have one daughter that is extremely driven and bossy and has a strong personality, a middle daughter who is passive , yet motherly, and a son who is shy, but a follower of sorts. He tends to annoy his sisters – your typical obnoxious boy
  • Leveraging diversity – the kids have different personalities, hair and skin colors and interests. It will be interesting to see what their impact on others will be when they are older. Our shared goal is to embrace the diversity they represent and respect their differences
  • Developing others – it’s challenging finding new ways for the kids to learn. They need to explore and also make mistakes in order to grow. After all, that’s how I’ve learned

EQ3: Results Driven

We are responsible for creating an environment for our kids where they understand their purpose, the consequences of their actions, how to solve problem. The last thing we want is for them to be a drain on society.

  • Accountability – holding triplets accountable is challenging. The key is consistency – lots of eyes watching! πŸ‘€
  • Decisiveness – knowing when to intervene and when to let them figure things out on their own has been challenging. Since age 2, we have made way for them choosing to be increasingly independent 😭
  • Problem Solving – these 3 kids create problems for us to solve on a continuous basis.

EQ4: Business Acumen

This competency/qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial and information resources strategically.

  • Financial Management – funding the triplet operation. The diapers and food cost are staggering. Need I say more? πŸ˜‚
  • Human Capital Management – recruiting and retaining quality help (the early months), rewarding them accordingly (holding cute babies is a great reward!), taking action to address performance problems with the toddlers (challenging! πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ), and keeping them entertained
  • Technology management – yes, I’ve used technology to my advantage during this 3+ year parenthood journey – mostly to track trends, milestones, and to “socialize” our journey using tools such as Facebook, WordPress, Instagram, GoFundMe and our beloved iPhones (notes, photos, timers, reminders, calendars πŸ“† and that handy flashlight πŸ”¦).

Building Coalitions

This involves mastering the art of partnering with others. Knowing how and when to ask for help has been key.

  • Partnering – we’ve receive so many clothes from generous folks since they were born, and have paid it forward accordingly
  • Toys – we’ve joined Facebook groups to stock this addiction

So what do you think? Will I make a good executive one day? I think I am racking up some pretty good experience, and so is my wife! πŸ˜‚

You may be wondering why my goal is 24 more years? I am anticipating having to pay for at least 2 weddings for the girls. And then there’s college (times 3), and whatever activities they get into (times 3), so raising kids isn’t cheap!

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Bring on Spring!

I am not a fan of the cold weather. My favorite season is spring, as the weather is more favorable and everything is blooming and waking back up. We will see what the groundhog says about when spring will arrive. I’m mainly looking forward to it as it provides more of an opportunity to accelerate our efforts to wrap up potty training. A lot of parents take advantage of nature’s ability to absorb “accidents” πŸ™Š

Throughout this journey with the kids, I’ve put on my IT hat quite often, relying on data and analytics to monitor and manage trends with all of the kiddos. Early on after we brought all 3 home, we had a white board set up to track feedings (whether it was breast milk or formula), diaper changes, and within that who peed and when, who pooped and when, and who sharted (shart = shit fart, an indication for a newborn that something big was brewing…haha!).

We had so much help when we brought them home that that level of tracking became difficult after a few days. There were holes in the data as some folks didn’t write things down. With an average of 8 diaper changes per day per baby, it became easy to forget.

With potty training, I’ve been tracking things on my phone and shared the Note πŸ“ with my wife so she could track too as she is at home with them all day. Initially I tracked every piddle (pee) poop and the date. My wife has her hands full with three all day long, so she forgot to put them down. I figured we have reached a point where we are in he home stretch where we will soon just be managing accidents, so I modified the tracker to just focus on dates. Dates are important still because there are periods of regression – hey…life happens and sometimes you need a break!

It is worth noting that in terms of pee, Michaela was approaching 600 times, Emma 400 and Christopher 300. So we have a sense of who is most ready. Right now it is all about dates. They know what to do, and they are expected to give it their best effort each day. If we had just one child right now, we would probably be done if it was a girl. Three at once creates challenges. There are limited one on one coaching opportunities, there is ZERO privacy, and interest is fleeting early on. Motivation comes in waves – basically when they are all ready they will be ready and that’s that.

On the horizon is nothing but pull ups, training underwear and a diaper budget of $0.00. And finally some form of pre-school where my wife gets a couple of hours 1 or 2 days a week to herself.

2018, Here We Come!

2017 was a great year, filled with tremendous growth. Christopher is growing like a weed and proving to be well equipped to protect his beautiful sisters, if this picture is any indication:

The novelty of triplets has worn off, and we now mostly just face questions about how close they are in age. Most folks think Christopher is a 4 year old and the girls are 3 year old fraternal twins.

Christopher was playing with a 4 year old girl New Year’s Eve, and the little girl was complaining that the words coming out of his mouth didn’t make any sense. We tried to explain that he was 3, not 4. “But he’s the same size as me.” πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ

The more things change, the more things stay the same. We have thousands of photos of the kids dating as far back to the early ultrasounds. Every now and then I’ll see a look on one of the kids at a particular angle and it triggers my photographic memory to kick in. Below is a shot of Michaela from her first session at a hair salon:

She was making the same smirk en utero. A humbling reminder that certain things are baked in to their fabric earlier than we realize.

This month we connected with the owner of GSMoms, the company that assisted us with starting the family we have by matching us with an incredible egg donor. It’s wonderful when folks get opportunities to see first hand the results of their efforts. This is true for the doctors and nurses as well. Angelique picked up a bag of cars for Christopher to add to his massive collection. The boy loves cars πŸš—

We expect 2018 to be filled with many exciting memories. I’m personally looking forward to spring time. I’m home earlier with my new job, and it will be nice when there is more daylight out to do things with the kids after work.

It’s flu season, and we have been protecting them as much as we can and avoiding the gym and church childcare since that’s when they tend to get sick. We have a birthday party to attend on 1/20 at Chuck E. Cheese, though, so please say a prayer πŸ™πŸΎ for the kids that they survive that hot zone unscathed 😷. It is sheer misery when they come down with colds.