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Stefan is an Ascend Technologies Senior Operations Manager. He shared what it means to be part of a team.

What sports have you played?

Surfing is my favorite sport. I go wherever it takes me!

What do you remember being the most valuable lesson from someone that supported your team sport or past time?

When I was growing up, my Grandpa frequently said to me, “Be the job, big or small, do it well or not at all.” I would always think on that. It’s stuck with me to this day. It reflects how he lives his own life. I’ve always respected his mindful and quality-oriented approach. The concept serves as one of my guiding principles, and something I’m always aware of.

What do you like the most about being part of the Ascend team?

I’ve been with this team for almost 6 years now. Throughout my journey I’ve been constantly impressed with how diverse, genuine, bright, and fun the people that have joined along the way are. I say that so you’ll understand why the people and culture we’ve built are my favorite parts of being on the Ascend team.

How do you relate the team experiences you have had to the way your team functions at Ascend? How have the experiences supported your success at Ascend and in your boarder career?

Being in the military at the start of my career was one of the most formative team experiences I have had. It shaped my view of how teams do and can function, and how critically important people are to any organization. That experience has taught me the value of building teams of people that are supported by leadership, connected to each other, unselfish, and feel included in and dedicated to a common cause and understanding.

What is your favorite team slogan, cheer or theme? How do bring this into your daily life?

This isn’t exactly a slogan/cheer. Yet, these are concepts I bring into my daily life, and reference from time to time. They are expressed in the “This is Water” speech by David Foster Wallace. It’s a long read (or listen), but one I recommend! It’s easy to slip into an auto-pilot mentality with how much is asked of us in life. But, I do my best to remember to be mindful and consider other people throughout the day.

This is an excerpt from the speech that I think acts as a good summary:

“The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.”