Monday 1:58 PM CST Dallas, TX – I’m sitting in a room about to get on a phone interview. The 4th interview of the day. I’m thinking to myself, “I’m in Dallas. What am I doing in Dallas? And more importantly, “How am I doing?”

2:30 PM CST Dallas, TX – During the phone interview I was asked this question, “What is a great business book you have read?” “Good to Great” I answered, and then we proceeded to talk about the book for a bit. Then, the person on the other end of the phone asked, “May I suggest a book?”

I answered “Sure.” Then, he proceeded to tell me about a book called Start with Why by Simon Sinek. Follow quickly by, “Don’t read the book. Look up the TED talk with the same name.”  Intrigued, I wrote down the name of the TED Talk so I could watch it later. The interview ended and so did the day. Back at the hotel, I started processing through the day of interviews. One of the stand out points was the TED Talk. Why would someone suggest it in an interview? Did I say something that lead the interviewer to believe I needed to watch this video? Putting the questions to the side, I sent my thank-you emails and called it a day.

Tuesday 11:00 AM CST Dallas, TX – I was working from my hotel room since I had a few hours before I needed to catch my flight, so I decide to watch the TED Talk. As I watched, I knew I needed to transfer my “why” from the ideas in my head to paper.

1:30 PM CST Dallas Airport – I composed this email.

Dear Interviewer, (My email actually had the person’s name)

Thank you again for the meeting yesterday. I watched the “Start with Why?” video. It is a very good video. I have my whys and would like to take a moment to share them with you. I will say up front that my whys are not going to change with the outcome of this position.

My first WHY requires a picture. These are my children. Everyday I’m reminded that data changed my life. Data allowed my wife and I to have children through the IVF infertility process. That process gave hope and life to the dream of expanding our family. Our doctor made decisions according to the data. I have never seen a medical professional use data in a data driven way like he does. Data gave me a family and I want to provide that hope and life for others. Data can assist with those dreams.

The second WHY is my my wife’s Uncle. He passed away of cancer. The main reason is that he did not follow up after a surgery to make sure the cancer was gone. A simple text or phone call might have encouraged him to schedule the appointment. The cancer might have been caught early enough to handle. The EMR  and insurance systems knew that there had not been a follow up appointment but no one was using the data from the systems for this care. How many more families suffer the tragedy of loss because the data is not used? Too many.

My WHY is Hope for others. I believe that Microsoft has the best solutions for linking that data to provide those Hopes and Dreams.

I’ll continue to drive forward toward this goal of data driven Health Care. My desire is to drive this mission while a part of the Microsoft Health Care Team. If not I’m sure our paths will continue to cross as we both drive towards a Data Driven Healthcare world.

Have a great day. I look forward to talking with you soon.

Cory Stevenson

Then added this pic.

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I received an email in reply. Followed by a few days of waiting.

Friday 5:30 PM EST Akron, OH – Jess (My wife) tells me. “Cory, I think I hear your phone ringing” I sprint to the kitchen and answer. The voice on the other end tells me I got the job and my wife and me start in on a silent celebration dance, fist pumping, and jumping up and down session, while the recruiter explains the details.

Current day

Moves like this are never easy, especially when I work with a team that is highly regarded so, thank you to the BlueGranite team for everything. It has been a pleasure to work with you all. I have been challenged to new heights and gained infinite wisdom. I leave with a grateful heart because I have had the opportunity to work with admirable and astute colleagues. Thank you.

Next Monday October 12th, I will transition to Microsoft as a Data Platform Cloud Solution Architect with the US Healthcare and Life Sciences team.

I get the amazing opportunity to help expanded their capabilities with data. My wife says that she has never seen me this enthusiastic or this passionate about my career.

This is my “why.”

I saw this picture that finally resonates with where I am in life.  I hope that you can find your purpose too.

We live in a great time with amazing technology and people that can make the world a better place.

Let’s go make that change.

To everyone reading this blog. Thank you. I pray that you know or may find your why. If you would like to watch my two favorite TED Talk videos that explain my passions. Here are the links:

1. Peter van Manen: How can Formula 1 racing help … babies? – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht2fzax9wV0

2. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action – https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=qp0HIF3SfI4

And one more thing – GO BUCKS!!! O-H-I-O!!