DISTek U: The First Graduating Class

The graduates of the first DISTek U course

Monday October 22 was a pretty exciting day, the day DISTek recognized the first set of graduates from DISTek U. These 7 graduates completed all the coursework required of the Potential Leads Track, which included reading and answering discussion questions for the books How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni, and Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. They also attended 7 Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training, and gave a presentation to the class and management team on their key takeaways. The group also heard from four current DISTek leaders on their perspective of being a leader, which was a highlight of the class. Below are some of the thoughts and experiences on the training from some of the graduates.

Joel stated, “The DISTek U Potential Leads course was a terrific introduction to the roles, expectations, and values surrounding leadership at DISTek. The course reading gave us a common vocabulary to discuss the challenges of cooperation and team building. Discussions were engaging. This course and future DIStek U courses are worth being excited about!“

Paul shared, “DISTek U 101 – Potential Leads Track was a fantastic way to learn about the expectations management has for a team lead, new or experienced. It was engaging and educational without taking too much time from day-to-day work. My biggest takeaway was that ones outward appearance and attitude are essential for gaining friendship and influence within your team.”

Mitch said, “My favorite part about the class was having the chance to read these great books! The course and readings challenged me to better understand the beliefs I hold. Whether my beliefs changed is not relevant; philosophical thinking was provoked which allowed me the opportunity to refine my core self.”

Dave stated, “I think it was a great chance to take a step back and examine the bigger picture within the context of some good books. I like that we’re creating a common knowledge base, which will foster camaraderie and connection within the company. I like the opportunity it gave us to interact with managers and learn their perspectives.

“My biggest takeaways were probably more personal than professional in nature. The course helped me create strategies for family, work, and life balance. It also reminded me that everyone sees things differently and I should seek to understand their perspective through active listening. Communication and regular dialog with everyone in our lives is critical. As someone once said… take time to smell the roses.”

As one of the three instructors that developed and led discussion questions surrounding one of the books, the course was definitely worth the time and investment. I really enjoyed the discussions and hearing different viewpoints that caused me to think. Although I was the “teacher”, I also learned.

DISTek U 101 – Potential Leads Track set the bar pretty high for future offerings within DISTek U due to the success of this class. And regarding the future leaders of DISTek, Jeremy Yoder, our COO, summed it up best before handing out the DISTek U letter and course pin to each graduate with, “the future looks bright.”

Shawn Pezley

About Shawn Pezley

Shawn is a Project Engineer and has been with DISTek Integration since 2002. Projects Shawn has worked on include: Implementation of a sequence control embedded system prototype (ISO 11783-14); development of embedded software within a virtual terminal that met ISO 11783-6 standard; systems level responsibility for in-vehicle displays; automated test systems for testing of products such as paging base stations, two-way radios, satellite phones, latches, and medical research in development and manufacturing environments. Shawn is experienced in C, C#, LabVIEW, TestStand, LabWindows/CVI, Visual Basic, CAN, SAE J1939, and ISO 11783 parts 6 & 14.

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