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Career Builder

Mike was a student in 1990 that we got to visit with in the summer of 2014. This is what he wrote about our Ten-Day Course.

On occasion people ask me what I do, and my response is simply put and always the same – I build successful teams. I am grateful to many for helping me refine my craft over the years, a process that continues with as much energy today as when I first threw a tong on a drill floor 30 years ago. Help and influence in defining my career past, present and future has come from all directions, and I am privileged to acknowledge that my time with Bill Murchison on his 10 day school was a significant turning point for me, one that I frequently revisit in my various team development conversations and efforts.

The 10-day school helped me in various ways, including:

  • I received an immediate confidence boost (I was just a derrick hand in a group of Toolpushers and Rig Managers, who were much more senior in age and rig experience)
    • The ‘Murchison way’ landed well with me, and I was able to attain a very high rank in the school’s initial and final assessments and in daily work assignments
  • My career focus immediately sharpened
    • Bill’s personal guidance helped me recognise a path of opportunity that had been staring right at me
      • My eyes were opened to the potential for new opportunities with my employer that I previously was not able to recognise
      • the restlessness and occasional frustrations I had previously been experiencing with my career immediately started to fade
  • I immediately became a more effective contributor,
    • I refined my approach to operational problems, identifying effective and practical solutions became easier, and I communicated better
  • My contributions were recognised, and then rewarded with increasingly challenging projects and promotions
  • Recognising the value of training in building successful teams/companies
    • I benefited from being part of a company, Santa Fe, that recognised the importance of and invested heavily in training at all levels (Santa Fe succumbed to my persistent pleading to attend the school despite not meeting eligibility requirements)
    • Training has since become a critical part of the development of all the teams I have led
  • Recognising the importance of assessing your team capability
    • The school provided Santa Fe management with a valuable technical profile of its current and upcoming leaders and used this information to provide and influence career choices for its leadership team
  • Recognising the importance of credibility (knowing your subject, theory backed up with practical experience)
    • Seeing how Bill’s knowledge and experience on a wide range of subjects helped captivate and lead leaders through the school was inspirational



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