Podcast 947: Decoding Your STEM Career: How to Exceed Your Expectations with Peter Devenyi

My guest for this podcast is the author of Decoding Your STEM Career: How to Exceed Your Expectations – Peter Devenyi.

For the last thirty-seven-years, Peter spent his engineering career in software and technology development in the fields of networking, telecommunications and logistics. With his skills and expertise, he held senior technical executive positions at large global companies such as RIM and Dematic, leading hundreds of technologists around the world.

Peter also came up with a book entitled Decoding Your STEM Career: How to Exceed Your Expectations. This book is a must-read for STEM graduates who aspire to be the technical leaders and executives of our next generation. Here, he discusses the importance of a never-ending commitment to technical education but recognizes that it can only propel a leader so far.

If you want to know more about Peter, his book and all other works. please click here to visit his website.

I hope you enjoy this engaging interview wtih Peter Devenyi. Thanks and happy listening!

THE BOOK

This book is also for mid-level technical managers who seek to move up the corporate ladder but are not sure how to differentiate themselves from their peers. Pete Devenyi highlights ten capabilities that technology leaders must develop and nurture in order to achieve their full potential. He shares learnings and techniques through a collection of compelling, real-world stories from his own 37-year technology journey.

THE AUTHOR

Over 30 years experience leading technical organizations in defining and developing large scale, mission critical applications, with a primary focus in the fields of logistics and telecommunications. Peter’s specialties are warehouse control systems, logistics operations, enterprise software development, product management, large scale technology leadership, web technologies, mobile device management, public speaking engagements. Furthermore, his overarching goal has always been to develop great products that leave a lasting impact on society.

 

You may also refer to the transcripts below for the full transciption (not edited) of the interview.

Greg Voisen
Welcome back to Inside Personal Growth. This is Greg Voisen and the host of Inside Personal Growth. And joining me from Toronto, Canada. And Peter, I'm gonna let you say your last name because I do not want to screw it up. He has a brand new book out called decoding your STEM career, how to exceed your expectations. Peter may say your last name for me, I should ask you before we got on, but if any Devenyi. So Peter has this new book. And I was impressed with really Peter, because in for all my listeners, they know I do pre interviews, and really what he's attempting to kind of communicate to people that are coming into a career in technology. And I'm gonna let Peter, the listeners know a little bit about you. He spent 37 years engineering career working in software and technology development in the fields of networking, telecommunications, and logistics, he held senior technical executive positions at large global companies such as rim and dimetric. I think that's how you said it leading hundreds of technologies around the world. His overarching goal has always been to develop great products and to leave a lasting impact on society. He is an accomplished speaker, and an author of this popular book, which you can get off of Amazon, and we're gonna have a link to Amazon to get that as well. And it's also in Kindle version. And decoding your STEM career, he earned his bachelor's Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto and continues to consult actively in the fields of warehouse automation, software development and robotics. Well, you're certainly well, you know, have a background to be able to address this, it is something that I think, you know, given no matter what happens to our economy, no matter where this goes, because we're all in a kind of a strange situation right now, technology is always going to be a leader. It may not show it right now because of the stock market. But the reality is, it'll be the technology fields and the advancements in science and technology that always move society forward. You know, and you wrote your book to bring awareness to 10s of 1000s of students and I say, students, whether they're graduate students, are there any kind of students that are in their STEM programs, and even they will emerge with these technical skills, right? To advance themselves in their careers and associated with programming and technology. And you can see, there's a critical element that's missing. And I would say that's true with probably almost any education you get when you come out of a university. Whether it's accounting, whatever it is, it's one thing to have the skills to do accounting, or to be a software engineer. It's another thing to work in a company and apply the skills and also what I call your emotional intelligence skills. What's missing? What are the recommendations that you have for any of these students, graduate students at or, or and or budding managers, who are maybe currently now in a position just coding all day long? And they want to be a manager?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, thanks. And I really appreciate being on your program. Greg, and to this conversation. It is it is amazing what when you actually look at the number of, of those of people globally graduating every single year from STEM programs, it's millions, somewhere in that over 10 million. I think in the US alone, there are half a million graduates from STEM programs every single year. And what's amazing to me is that so many of these graduating students and as they progress early in their career, have similar aspirations. They want to move up in the corporations, they want to move to other companies that that hopefully they will get better opportunities at and have more promotional opportunities with and perhaps the template that they were at. Yet none of it is taught in, in universities, these university programs and engineering, science, math, computer science, are so technically heavy. Very few of the universities have programs that that focus on leadership and engineering and what is it going to take and I wish it was, you know, one magic bullet secret thing. My book focuses on 10 principles. And we will talk about some of these in in the, in the podcast, everything from your integrity and how you use that integrity to communication skills and how you build up those communication skills is still in a technical context to how you continue to further your technical skills, even when you move into executive level position so that you're making big technical decisions thoughtfully, and you're involved in those conversations, you can't usually leave those to other people, because you are the one that ultimately is going to have to bear the consequences of whether you made a good decision or not, or not a good one. So there are so many of these attributes, characteristics, principles, that that these students who then evolve in their career need to take seriously a need to learn. If they are going to achieve their full potential, and they're all learnable. They're all relatively straightforward, but you need to understand what they are, and you need to practice them. You need to learn from your mistakes, you need to figure out how not to make the same mistake over and over again. And that was the motivation for the book to give a head start to people to really understand what are these things that I need to focus on as early as possible, so I maximize the likelihood that I will be able to achieve all the goals that I set for myself early in my career.

Greg Voisen
Well, I think, you know, Peter, the software engineering side and electrical engineering side, it's a teamwork kind of system, right? In other words, I don't care if you go to Google, or you go to Adobe, or you go to metta, or you go to any of these places where you're developing software, in most cases, you have to learn how to work in a community, a team, you've got to be a good team player. It isn't an individual stick sport, right? It's like basketball, right? You're going to have certain people that will code this and certain will do this, and you'll come together and you'll build a product, and you'll know where you're going. And you know, the book offers up 10 capabilities that technology leaders should develop and nurture in order to advance their full potential. And one of them is actually you. I said it was team building, you know, in working in teams, what are some of those capabilities, and we're gonna get into them. But as a broad brush, there's 10 of them that you put in the book, each chapter is dedicated to that. Also, each chapter has a lot of takeaways, I'll tell those people who, you know, want to do a quick read, the chapters aren't long, it's an easy read, this book is certainly not going to be like one of your textbooks that you know, take out on engineering, electrical engineering, or engineering. But it is a book that gives you the basics, the fundamentals of what you need. So once you cover those 10, or as many as you can, and then let's go in depth into those and talk a little bit more about the ones we have time to talk about, that I have questions for that I think are really meaningful.

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, and, and I'll go through the 10 Very briefly, and then we can we can dive into them. And in the book, I try to focus on all 10 through a set of relatable stories, and they're not all happy stories. A number of these stories are mistakes, even embarrassing situations that I found myself. And like everyone I learn as much as possible or more from my mistakes than I do from my successes. And it was important to me as I wrote this book to, to share some of the failures that I've had, where I've made mistakes, how I learned from them how I did better the next time I was confronted with this similar situation. And I think it just makes it easier to relate to and more interesting read hopefully for people as they struggle with some of the same issues that I struggled with through 37 years but if I go through the 10 first one solid, basic technical skills, and I mean that, that you need to focus on it throughout your career and not just when you're doing coding, not just if you're designing electrical circuits or new products, you need to continue to advance in technology STEM careers in general. Certainly when you get into the you know field of computers and networking and robotics, it just changes so much that you know, unlike some other fields that perhaps don't changes dynamically, you will not be long term successful unless you unless you continue to make that commitment.

Greg Voisen
And then relevant your relevancy as a contributor actually goes away, if you're not a continual learner, and one of the things you stress in there is, you know, you've got to be a continual learner, you've got to want to keep to stay up to stay on top of the latest and greatest coding, the latest and greatest engineering techniques, whatever is being used, if you're not, you're irrelevant, and you're going to lose your job.

Peter Devenyi
At some level, you have to, you don't have to be the best, but you have to know enough to be able to get to the nub of the issue to, to engage in meaningful conversation. And to be able to make decisions that you can stand behind, it's crazy to think as you move up to, let's say, executive levels in these corporations, the decisions you make can be million dollar decisions. And if you are not equipped with the basics, to make those decisions, and to have the necessary dialogue that leads to them, then you're going to find yourself in problematic situations, it's only a matter of time. So

Greg Voisen
fundamentally, and let me kind of throw this question in. And then we'll keep going down the list of the 10. You know, as you graduate, or move into jobs in management, let's just say you were a coder, and you decided that's a career you want to you want to go down to management and you get the opportunity. And then one year goes by two years goes by your managing teams, maybe you're managing 3040 50 people doesn't matter what the number is, the point is, you don't have the same amount of time to stay on top of all of this, you have to actually be more of a you're developed your emotional intelligence skills to be able to connect the dots and put things together and look at the bigger pictures. But it's a whole different subset of skills that you talk about in this book, that are foreign to most disease, people who've been sitting in a desk coding. And when you're going in this what advance advice would you give them? Because you know, if they really like coding, and that's what they love doing? And they try and go in management and they hate it. What advice would you give them because there is, you know, there are people that will probably never get out of that position. They don't want to they don't want to do that?

Peter Devenyi
Well, first of all, there are many, many ways to advance a technology career other than going into management, and you gotta if, if you choose to go into management, hopefully, people are doing that for good reasons. But many others want to remain technical. And the advice I would give is to try to find a company that actually rewards values, technical growth, IBM was wonderful in this regard, I speak about it in the book, because they value technology careers so much that they had parallel career paths, you can advance to an IBM Fellow level and be as senior as the most senior management executives, same pay same opportunities. But you were just moving up a completely different career path. And more often. And that was this whole IBM Fellow designation that so many technologists aspire to achieve. More and more companies are doing that these days. So many of the principles and characteristics that I talked about that that you should aspire to achieve are equally relevant, whether you stick to, you know, pure technology careers, as well. But, but if you go into management, you've got to do it for the right reasons. You just feel that that is where you are going to make the most impact, you feel a passion for it. So I think you have to listen to yourself and know you're doing it for the right reasons. And if you make the wrong decision, then go back into a purely technical role. And

Greg Voisen
Nico. Yeah. Well, you know, one of the ways we can cover these is I have questions about each of them. So I think it'd be a good opportunity for us to kind of slide into them. And the first one was you speak about establishing a solid base of technical skills and never stop learning. We've talked a little bit about that. We know that the power of being a continual learner is important. But why is it so important for somebody in the technology centered arena, and somebody who's moving into management because even while you're in management, you want to keep this continual learning foundation Jim?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, I mean, the best way I think to answer these some of these questions, this one in particular is, is maybe with an example. And, you know, one example that comes to top of mind for me is I found myself at a company that a small company, I was the CTO of the of the company, we were acquired by a larger company. And, and the technology landscape changed shortly after the company acquired us. And they actually no longer needed, the product that they bought our company for, was all about supplier integration into marketplaces, etc. And I found myself in this precarious situation where I'm leading a team of people that was just acquired by a larger company, and they didn't know what to do with our technology. So happened, that I knew the architecture of the product that we brought in well enough, the company that acquired us had ran into a number of challenging problems that they didn't know how to solve with a completely unrelated opportunity. But I could tell that the architecture of our product would be well suited to be adapted to support this other opportunity, as well. So I put a proposal together in that case, to effectively discontinue working on what we had previously that the company acquired us for they no longer needed, and that we revamped the technology to address this other more significant opportunity. And with that, because I understood the architecture of what our capabilities were, and I didn't do it entirely on my own, it was originally something that came to mind. And I worked with the rest of my technology team to figure out how we would do it. But we were able to create a whole new mission for the company, and probably saved a lot of jobs in the process. Because we could adapt the technology to work on something completely different. And, you know, I think that's an example of what's a great example, why are they do right? Why is

Greg Voisen
no, it's a good example. And then you know, the other thing is to keep in mind when you move up from in your STEM career, and you do move into management, you know, all these software, software engineering companies, they have budgets. And now you become responsible for looking at the cost of actually developing XYZ piece of software, whether it's a CRM at Salesforce, or it's something at Adobe, or whatever it might be. And, you know, for the most part, I think frequently from what I've heard, and you can tell me, you know, you've got a budget in mind, and you've got management even above you, who's saying, Hey, are you running on budget, you guys got to be able to get this thing done? When's the, you know, when's the release date, we're going to get it out, all of those things are things that you're now thinking about a little bit more. And like you said, you came up with an idea that could actually have saved this new company, a lot of money. Starting from scratch, we took something new, it sounded like to me and adopted it. So you have these takeaways in each of your chapters, which some of the takeaways regarding improving communication skills, which this is such a critical area, I don't care what company you're in, if the if people aren't communicating, and they're not effectively communicating, it becomes a real issue, and especially when you're building technology stuff. Now, I will say, and I'm gonna mix another question into this. Usually people that are engineers, and software technicians, whatever, they're coders, they're not like the biggest fans of communicating really? Well. I mean, they have most of these companies have more problems in those teams and trying to get those teams to work together. What are some of the takeaways about communicating that you'd give, that are really important that people learn, and really could help somebody advance their career?

Peter Devenyi
Yeah, I love the way you phrased it. And it's true that, you know, those that go into engineering are least likely to be perhaps on the drama team and in high school and get exposure to some of the softer skills and communication skills, making them feel comfortable.

Greg Voisen
Let's put it this way. They don't have the most outgoing personalities. Well, I have a son who's a software engineer. He's wonderful young man. He's beautiful, but he won't engage in conversation unless you actually ask him the question, right. So in other words, that's the way he is, but he's very effective at what he does. And I think that's what's important to understand. It is you, you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, you give them the skills.

Peter Devenyi
Yeah. And that can be fairly, fairly common. It's, of course, not true for everyone. But it's true for a lot of a lot of people. And I found myself in a similar situation relatively early in my career incredibly nervous I wasn't, I wasn't comfortable speaking in front of large, audiences not even comfortable speaking in front of small audiences in many cases. So, for me, I took early on, out of absolute necessity and intensive communication course, at IBM, and just drilled into me over and over and over and over again, how to present effectively to even a small audience and how to get your message across. And that is something that I would advise anyone to do. So many people are uncomfortable with it, I'm going to be videotaped, I'm going to be critiqued, I'm going to be critiqued by my peers that are also in the class, they're going to look at every little idiosyncrasy, and you have to live through that you have to watch yourself, you have to be honest about it, you have to take the constructive criticism and improve on it. And what struck me in that course at the time was, when we did these back to back presentations of the first one we did on day one, and the last one we did on day three, the same presentation, the remarkable difference there was in the to how much more comfortable I was, given the tools that I learned at that course. And, but what I learned, or realized afterwards that it was more than the presentation, it was the confidence that instilled in me to have one on one conversations with people effectively to listen more effectively to know how to run meetings more effectively, to let to lead them in a way where the right people were speaking at the right time. And I could I could manage the conversation in such a way that we ultimately realized our objectives, how to give constructive criticism to people how to run effective performance reviews, all of this is all about communications. And you need to get comfortable in your own skin that you can do it. And so many of the learnings are equally applicable, whether you're speaking in front of an audience of 6000 people, or you're having a one on one conversation with someone, you need to be comfortable that the right words are going to come to you at the right time. And that you're responding. Based on what you heard, you're not you're really listening to people, you become an effective listener. And based on what you've heard you, you are thinking on the go and you're responding in a way that makes sense to ultimately have a meaningful conversation at the end. And that's what communication is all about. And that takes practice. And you know, some learning by taking the right course, at the right time to help you along the way. And engineers frequently need that.

Greg Voisen
You know, it's a it's very, very important skill. And it's a skill that requires continual practice. And I say this, not lightly because communicating whether you're doing a podcast show, or you're or you're a keynote speaker, or you're somebody working in smaller teams or teams, all of it requires a high degree of emotional intelligence skills. As you said, you reiterated, basically, what like listening skills, you've got to be able to hear what the other person is saying. And I say that's probably one of the biggest, no matter who you are, is to be able to listen. Now I appreciate your chapter in the book about doing what you say you will do in committing to it. And, you know, in today's world, for some reason, I don't know we have four generations working in the workplace today. It's challenging at best, and I'm sure you've run into this in your consulting. There seems to be a different set of values between different generations, it seems it's not always apparent. But you talk about doing what you say you're going to do and committing to it. What in your estimation, you believe this skill is so hard for people to get and what takeaways do you have for people that might be struggling with committing on follow through because, hey, I think this is an important point I'm gonna make if someone gave you a deadline to do something, no matter what generation you're from, and you don't believe you can make it you should renegotiate the deadline. Okay, simple thing, but because some people do One was face, they don't want to renegotiate their eight the deadline, and then they don't make their commitment. And you know, this happens in teams all the time. My son deals with it frequently. Okay. And I think it's especially when it comes to being a software engineer and trying to get something out on time. Right? What advice would you give?

Peter Devenyi
So, you know, great question. It's often, you know, the million-dollar question for so many engineers, software engineers out there. You know, no matter what it is, what product you're trying to get out, you're under pressure, you're busy. You don't like to be interrupted, either. If you if you've made a commitment, and somebody else is, is coming out to trying to get your help for something. You know, too often people say, Yeah, I'll get that done, I'll do it. And yeah, they don't even have any intention of actually doing it, they're just trying to get the person out of your office, don't do that you hope. People sometimes think that? Well, they'll probably forget, I just I told them, I do it, but I'm not going to do it. People remember, and that will hurt your career. If you do that sort of thing, you have to find that balance to do what you say you are going to do. When you get into these larger projects, and you're really on the hook to deliver something of substance, you've got to be careful. And you've got to have courage. And you've got to find the courage to say I can't do that. But you focus on what you can do. And what is possible, it isn't just time I need to get that project done. When a certain time you often there's the ability to negotiate the level of functionality that is going to be included within that period of time. It's incumbent on professional people to come up with alternatives, executives will often put pressure on you to deliver something on a certain point in time. But really what they're asking you is, if you can't get it done exactly the way that I have specified it or that I'm expecting or that we think we need, what is it that we can do that you can commit to in that period of time. So you really have to take ownership of that early on. And when you make individual commitments to people around you, they will remember, even if they don't confront you about them afterwards. And if you build a reputation for not delivering on those small things, it will hurt you in the long run. So combination of lots of things like anything else, it's a set of skills that people get better and better at as they build experience. But it's important to be conscious about it. And it's important to really think about the importance of your word. And you know, that notion that My Word is my bond, and you have to take it seriously. Even when it's an unpopular decision, I've made a ton of mistakes that I talked about in my book, in that respect, you have to own up to the mistakes when they happen. And the most important thing is when you know you can't do something, figure out what you can do, and turn that negative into a positive somehow. And then you can have a meaningful conversation. And you will earn respect of those around you. And at the same time.

Greg Voisen
Well, I know the readers will learn from your book by reading the stories. And there's a story in there that I found. Yeah, kind of actually quite interesting. You speak about working at RIM in the mid 2000s. And the fact that everyone had a Blackberry and that you're all connected you know I think you said was I don't know if it was 5000 employees whatever it was, but what in your estimation did having the BlackBerry do to enhance the teamwork because you said it was everybody was really focused they were trying to get this done we were all committed to getting the job done. And then you just a minute ago said we're contradictory I don't want to be interrupted and the reality is switch tasking doesn't work. We really can't do weaken switched switch tasking is what we do multitasking does not work and that having the BlackBerry enhance the teamwork. Why is the teamwork and imperative for individuals that we've been talking about this but or that are working in software engineering, and especially this story because I found the story kind of on one sense it to me Peter was it was great all these blackberries were going off because everybody was getting these messages. On the other hand, it seems like it would be quite disruptive.

Peter Devenyi
You know, I talk about the story frequently and people's reaction to me That sounds horrible. Sounds terrible. Oh my goodness, you were in meetings and everybody had their BlackBerry's out and you're half paying attention in the meeting and your, your half responding to people. I'm not saying it's, it's, it's even right. But it was certainly a learning opportunity. And there were some really good things and emits some bad things that that we had to we had to work through. But it was a connected company, meaning there were 5000 people at the time grew to 20,000 as at the height of BlackBerry success. But everybody was on a common mission, everybody understood that it wasn't about what you did individually, it was about the team, it was about getting that next product out, it was about changing the world, when we were at Blackberry changing how people worked, redefining what mobile communications meant to the world, and you couldn't do that on your own. That was, that was the responsibility of 5000 people that were hyper connected with one another and supported each other. And when somebody needed information, the culture of the company was get back to them quickly. And, and it was the only company I ever worked at, where nobody would say put your mobile phones away, I need your undivided attention at the meeting that wasn't at all the way the company work, the company worked, like pay attention at the meeting. But we totally understand if you're going to be getting messages respond to your messages as well just don't get caught in the meeting, you need to figure out a way how you can you know, pay attention to both things, both things at the same time. And that too, is a skill that that most people develop some better than others. And yeah, some sometimes we got embarrassed at a meeting that that we were asked a question, and we were somewhere else. But overall,

Greg Voisen
I think that just a curious question here. You know, I understand there's still blackberries out there. Maybe not very many of them. But they're still there. What, what do you think? I mean, look, the company grew super fast. It was like the only game in town. It was wonderful in the mid 2000s. On a side note here, why do you believe their demise came so quickly?

Peter Devenyi
I'm asked this question often. And it's, it's an interesting case study.

Greg Voisen
First of all, I have to go in all the details. But I'm curious myself as to what the overarching management decisions that were made that really lead it down a path of its demise.

Peter Devenyi
So the first thing I think is important to understand is that BlackBerry created an industry and I think it's important for people to realize and recognize Blackberry, more for its accomplishments, as opposed to its ultimate demise, if you will, of the great device itself, because it really was a remarkable achievement. What happened is that the biggest companies in the tech world in the world went after that space, Apple, Microsoft, Google said BlackBerry invented this industry. They're the undeniable leader, we want to go after this space. They did a phenomenal job Apple certainly did. Coming out with the iPhone, they had two orders of magnitude more money $300 billion in the bank compared to BlackBerry that had $3 billion in the bank. So you really are going after, or competing, all of a sudden against massive companies. And there were some difficult decisions that that had to be made, I would say this single fundamental, biggest mistake that BlackBerry made, was coming out with a third ecosystem coming out with it later than they wanted. They called it BlackBerry 10. And the world at the end wasn't willing to adopt BlackBerry 10, on top of Android on top of iOS was just one to many ecosystems, if you will, probably there would have been some other decisions that could have been made but many very smart people there and

Greg Voisen
I'm gonna date myself Peter, but you know, I used to carry around a palm pilot and we used to swap people's business cards through the Palm Pilot when we were networking was really

Peter Devenyi
and blackberry did to Palm Pilot to palm what, you know, Apple to BlackBerry in many ways, right?

Greg Voisen
They just they just disappeared. Yeah, they did. They did just disappear. Now if you would speak about our listeners about the art of listening to be understood, and staying in the moment, obviously our example we just talked about with all the people on their BlackBerry's was not staying in the moment. And it, it certainly could interrupt someone's listening. And while these blackberries are going off, what benefits are there, both the listener and to the person communicating their idea or point because the worst thing can happen is, somebody is in a conference or a meeting. And I said this yesterday, you know, this multitasking doesn't work. And the other thing is it disrupts relationships. You erode in a relationship, the minute your focus goes away from the person that's either talking or listening, or whatever. And if you don't think they know, believe me, they know. And especially if you're in marketing or sales, so if you're, if you're there, and you start, you know, goofing around with your Blackberry, or your iPhone or your whatever, can be critical mistake.

Peter Devenyi
You're absolutely right. Look, everybody notices. We know internally, when we're bored at meetings, our mind is drifting. You can't stop that from happening all the time. But you can stop it from happening. Most of the time. I know early in my career, I was terrible at it, I was good at participating in meetings, when I really cared about the subject matter. And when the subject matter was something that was a little bit tangential to what I was working on, I would I would zone out and think about something else. That was That hurt. My career Early on, I had to actually focus and learn to stay in the moment to listen and contribute to all sorts of topics, whether they were top of mind top of interest topics, to me, it was my responsibility, if I'm spending the time in that meeting, to really listen, and I watched some of the best leaders in action, do that and do it way better than I was capable of doing it. And I've just committed to doing it better, because I knew it was something that that was going to help me and certainly was going to help my career if I got if I got better at it. That's saying that also don't listen with the intent to respond, listen with the intent to understand it is so critical that you are truly listening to what somebody has to say, thinking about it and responding based on that. And that's true in technology fields so often that we have strong views, strong ideas of how something needs to be built or developed, somebody else comes forward with different ideas. The instinctive reaction so many engineers will have is to argue before they actually listen to think that whoever they're talking to is wrong. And I'm formulating my idea before I actually really listen to them. And again, so important to figure out how not to do that, and how to let yourself be educated. Even if it's, you're talking to somebody that you don't particularly like, I had many of these conversations with people I didn't I didn't really even like working with some of them. I didn't like their style. But you still have to listen to what are they trying to say? And is there something that I'm actually missing? That may impact my thought process? And I need to be willing to give myself to that conversation before I actually respond with my thoughts. And, and so often, I changed my tune when I learned how to truly listen. And I think it's a skill that people again, have to practice and learn and they will feel themselves get better at it as they go on.

Greg Voisen
Well, I know you and you mentioned this, you know, Apple and Steve Jobs, you know, and I remember interviewing a guy that used to work quite closely with Steve Jobs and kind of early years, early years. And you know, a lot of people said he was prick and I'm sure he was. But on the other hand, he did say when the engineers came together and he would say this repeatedly, you leave your ego at the door, and you come with a beginner's mind. And you know, that resonated with me. It was like, wow, here's somebody who can just be an asshole when he manages people. But on the other hand, when he knew he needed to get the creative innovation, energy and the lift where he needed to get it, he knew how to create an environment in which people could work and say, Look, leave your ego at the door and come here with a beginner's mind. Come here with an open mind. Because we're in this you know, innovation stage. I think it was just so important. Now, in wrapping up this interview, the book is filled with takeaways every chapter has clearly 1012 takeaways and you articulate these very well, at the end of each chapter? What are the three most important takeaways in your estimation? And what do you want the listeners to understand about preparing themselves for becoming this maybe manager executive or moving up in their organization in some way? What three major things would you want to leave them with?

Peter Devenyi
So always toss right to say, what are the three, I would say the following, I would say, number one, it's a process, you need to understand a framework for improving a wide variety of skills. And progress will be slow, but steady, but achievable and recognizable as you get better at them. If I'm to narrow it down to three primary areas remaining technically proficient reading, doesn't mean you're reading the same stuff, the same technical work, when you move to another level tends to get broader, your butt, but you have to stay technically proficient, if you want to advance in a technical leadership role in whether it's a management role or an individual contributor or leadership role. Learn to listen and communicate well. And with humility is so important, you are not going to be the expert in everything. Listening is as important as speaking. And you need to listen and speak well in a wide array of environments that you find yourself in. And maybe Lastly, be kind focus on the team commit to help other people and good things will happen, far better things will happen than if you try to put yourself in the center of the of the process. And, and I have 10 principles in the book for a reason. I think as people get better and better and better at each of those principles, their careers will markedly improve over time. But maybe those three, encapsulate what some of the key learnings are that I would I would say people have to focus on, I'll

Greg Voisen
show the listeners the book this way. And for those of you watching this on YouTube, you can see it, it isn't a thick book, you can read this on a plane ride somewhere, decoding your STEM career, you and the takeaways meaning, the most important points are already articulated for you at the end of each chapter. You know, I say if somebody wants a quick read, just go to the takeaways and highlight them and start thinking about them and reflecting on them, ask yourself questions about them. And that would actually I am opening up to the first set here. Every one of these is you just said focus on being kind and go out of your way to help others succeed. That's right at the introduction of the book. So I would say everyone we'll put a link to Amazon will also put a link to Peter's website. There. You can learn more about Peter, it's p-e-t-e-r d-e-v-e-n-y-i.com.

Peter Devenyi
It's actually it's actually p-e-t-e dropped r.

Greg Voisen
Sorry. Sorry. P-e-t-e you know what I added the R must be dyslexia. I think because the book is Peter. And I just thought that's what it was. But he's right. It's Pete de venyi.com. That's what we'll put the link to, for my listeners. But thanks for being on inside personal growth and spending a few minutes of your time talking about your new book, talking about decoding their STEM career and really giving them some additional opportunities to learn skills that are going to be necessary to advance their career. It was really fun speaking with you this morning, Peter.

Peter Devenyi
Same here and thanks so much for having me on. truly enjoyed it.

Greg Voisen
All right. Have a good day. You too. Thanks.

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