Do I work // or is it Fast Five

Every time I start a new project, it is like a story – something crazy that I do. As i start off a new project, I think of this being another story and a very similar to what I have just delivered. And it simply compelling when I think of me as a living a Fast Five.

[divider scroll_text=”HERE COMES THE STORY”]

 

[column col=”2/5″]It all start when we get an opportunity of working on a project. It is the most craziest thing we got to do; something we have never done the last time. We need a team and folks who can do special things and all of those people are excited to be part of the ‘crazy stuff’. Most important we need 2 precision drivers – no project that I have delivered has been delivered who can do wonders – can be the arch, the leads, the technologists, the PMs, the developers.[/column]

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[divider scroll_text=”Project Starts”]

 

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[column col=”2/5″]Finally we have the project and we know the people we know who are going to do all the stuff done and we start assembling the team. And we all know We got to get the job done.[/column]

[divider scroll_text=”One More Time – YET AGAIN”]

 

[column col=”2/5″]I can’t say enough but I will say it one more time – This is some crazy stuff we do but when we get it done we get rewarded by people knowing we did it one hell of a job – like getting in a police station and steal 100M $$$.[/column]

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[divider scroll_text=”There are Challenges – and big ones”]

 

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[column col=”2/5″]Oh Yeah!! There are!! There are problems and issues internal and external that keep coming at us with full speed. They don’t allow us to get into our zone to get the stuff done, but we go to!![/column]

[divider scroll_text=”Running ain’t freedom”]

 

[column col=”2/5″]We know we got to solve the problem and get rid of them. We know we can’t run away. [/column]

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[divider scroll_text=”We don’f fail – not today”]

 

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[column col=”2/5″]The only way to deal with the challenges and everything that gets thrown as us is to deal with aggression; to do what we do best.  [/column]

[divider scroll_text=”And yet – It is Misson Insane”]

 

[column col=”2/5″]The projects gets tougher by the hour till the point it seems impossible. We will see everything going against us, nothing would work the way it is supposed to and then boom – there is this big crash.

Yet nothing changes – it is business as usual for us.[/column]

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[divider scroll_text=”The Rockstars”]

 

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[column col=”2/5″]And when we need the most, there are our Rock stars who would be ready to jump off of the cliff. They are the people who will do that nobody can think it can be done. [/column]

[divider scroll_text=”The Winners Walking Proud”]

 

[column col=”2/5″]And in the end we all walk proud. We deliver with Quality.[/column]

[column col=”3/5″][/column]

[divider scroll_text=”Now Watch the whole story unfold”]

 

Now that I have narrated how a project looks like for me in piece meals, here is how it looks like a whole.

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Alpha male // maybe?

Alpha males
Alpha males (Photo credits: http://www.justbathroomsigns.com)

A couple of weeks back, I entered into a meeting room and I was informed that I am a Type A personality. I didn’t know at the the time the traits of the personality type A. So they told me it is Alpha Male because I demand control and attention around me. Well it sounded like me a little.

So today, I decided to look it up a little more  on that topic today and it was nice and shocking. Here is what I quote from Wikipedia

The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status conscious, can be sensitive, care for other people, are truthful, impatient, always try to help others, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, proactive, and obsessed with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence

And then http://www.simplypsychology.org/personality-a.html cites

Type A behavior: competitive, ambitious, impatient, aggressive, fast talking.

Well not that does sound like me. Now the shocking part.

Some scholars argue that Type A behavior is not a good predictor of coronary heart disease

 

Well well – I think age is catching up fast with all these symptoms in last couple of years and I think I to slow down a bit.

 

The Parasite // Time to Fight

I feel like shitting on someone today // I am that crapped out in my head. I sense a lot of negativity and that shit is pulling me in its Kapil_think_happydense fog which is making life tricky. I spent a lot of time catching up and a lot of pending stuff got done. I am kind of surprised that I have been able to work through all this mess in my head where in the past this has lead me to simply come to a stand still.

Now what remains is getting started with some new work done and I have several tasks lined up on my plate which are not on the front-burner today, but unless I get to those soon they will be. And, I need to get rid of the static charge in my head so that I can make progress.

 

A long time back I blogged about Expectations and Happiness.  I quote from my earlier blog

An expectation is a mental prediction of what will happen in the future when we don’t know for sure. If what does actually happen matches or exceeds our expectation of it we experience positive emotions such as satisfaction, joy, surprise, or gratification. If, on the other hand, what occurs is different from what we expected or is less than what we expected, we experience negative emotions such as disappointment, anger, or frustration.

 

I know exactly what is not working out and it’s the inability of folks around me not making it work out is what is bugging me.  I have not yet reached a point where action is warranted. I am still circumnavigating the mess that has been created due to some common sensical errors. As I speak to several folks (last of my discussions is planned for today), I am getting a feeling that “we” have given up on something that once was a passion we all shared together. I have been asking myself and several other people “are ‘we’ interested STILL” and I do hear people saying – “yes we are”; I hope we are.

The energies have been sucked out as nothing is working as it had been planned a year back. There are things that are happening which no one had thought about. There are entities which are getting injected into the process which should not have been, “we” are getting ejected from the process as if the body rejects an antibody.

I go back to my blog about Karma and I know it is “us” who will have to do something if we have to make this work. I cry out loud – “are others with me?”

I can’t let this this thought fester itself in my head like a parasite because it will keep eating my inside out.

Eating inside Out
The Day The Earth Stood Still // Eating inside Out

 

NASCAR // The Night Out(s)

nascar
nascar (Photo credit: rogerblake2)

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet!! This is not about me being out of home and partying hard; this is about yet another day @ work. Last 16 months, I have lived and breathed about another sport NASCAR. I was and am the one of the Architects on a project that Sapient Nitro embarked upon sometime in 2011. We worked with NASCAR – the 2nd most popular sport in USA and we had to re-platform their .com digital property. I was responsible for technology design and implementation on the project.

 

During the course of the project and especially after it went live on Jan 3, 2013, we had to also support the races. Today is one such race day/weekend when NASCAR holds it 9th round of the Sprint-cup-series. I am in office; I didn’t need to be, but we have our Delivery Lead (John Schneider) visiting India first time since launch and he will be in office tonight experience first hand a night out on support. I am in office just to make sure that we don’t end up sharing a superficial experience with John. Out of the 9 races that we have had, I have been in office during weekends and nights for at least 5 weekends and as we have stabilised the platform week on week we have had our share of fun with Fantasy, Raceview, Leaderboard and Live Telecast (if we can find one). And, i want to make sure that we do all of that today as well and not just put up a grandeur show of working and working.

 

We are still about 90 minutes from the green flag drop and in office, I have with me 5 of my team members who are part of Level 2 support and have been responsible

Race Support @ Sapient
Race Support @ Sapient

of running this beast of a platform day in and day out. They are the warriors who hold up the gates while several million fans enjoy the sport out there. The team is in middle of ensuring that the pre-flight checks are done and things are working as they are supposed to. We will check several systems – Feeds for leader board, feeds for lap by lap commentary and cautions, editorial publishing which is used to push all major content, check that all the servers – web and CQ publish servers are in order and the content is in sync with each other.

 

NASCAR’s editorial team is already on ground and the press passes are starting on; I can see updates coming on home page. Today, we will have Matt Kensth lead the field – he was the winner last week as well so a strong start for him. They have already pushed a couple of home page updates. I can see the Home Page hero saying “Ready for Richmond” with a nice picture of a driver that I cant identify – but looks like it is Kenseth. We have the projects up and running – one of them will be projecting the real time analytics telling us the traffic levels on the site and another one that will stream the race directly for us.

 

Three of us – Nitin Tyagi, Kiran and me play fantasy very aggressively and are competing very closely. We all have our teams set and here is a snapshot of my team today.

NASCAR Fantasy Roster Week of April 28
NASCAR Fantasy Roster Week of April 28

 

Leaderboard is not warm yet but this is how it looks today and something that the team is monitoring very closely. This is the page that gets so much traffic today during races.

NASCAR // Leader board

 

Looking for a good day @ office – Oops!! for another good night out!!

 

 

Hats – which one are you wearing?

This is not the first time I did this, but when i think about it it seems I was just way too busy with my job day-in day-out. What Hat do I Wear not to forget this next time.

Seth Godin blogged about something similar today a much better way of what I was trying to imply.

via Hats – which one are you wearing?.

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Last year, I had the opportunity of working with some distinct groups of people. Both groups having folks who are masters in their domain; own the people and provide them to people like me who own delivering projects; have their own growth paths where no inputs are sought form us kind of stuff.

 

When I last worked with those groups, we concluded an assignment and we decided that we would reward the team working on the assignment with small token of appreciation. The token eventually turned out to be much more significant in value that we initially had planned for. However, when I was planning the list of people who should get the same or not, we decided not to include the external groups for some reasons mentioned above aka how they engaged with us, they had their own way of rewarding people that my core team didn’t have. However, the rewards went out and immediately there was a huge hue and cry where as to why those people were excluded. The debate lasted for almost 2 months and finally we decided to pick a few people from those groups and gave them the same reward.

 

I was sitting today, thinking about the situation in context of something else and i ended up thinking what i would have done if I was the part of that group. I tried to put myself in their shoes and here is how I am playing this in my head right now:

 

As a worker bee – basically a person who comes in and get the work done. As a worker bee, I would be disappointed that I worked so hard for someone and they didn’t consider me for a reward. My effort would have felt little and i would have felt cheated. At the very least, I would have expected some communication.

 

As a leader – someone who leads the group and may not have bene involved day in – day out on the project and looks at things from a distance. I would not have any expectation from that other team a reward for me although I might have been providing leadership. I didn’t do anything to make it evident that I was adding value apart from the fact that I was around (or maybe that was the value). But, then if i was a leader on the team, I would have first opened a dialogue with that other team to first understand their perspective and not launch an attack which happened in this case.

 

The way the leaders on the team played out was – we are offended, you did a bad job, include us or else. Is that really the leadership that one would want to provide. It only went ahead to add distance between the two teams who once interacted very well. I agree that I was at fault as well by not communicating and leaving it to a point when they had to react to it – i could have been more collaborative. But, I would not have done what was done on the other side. Two wrongs done make a right and this one didn’t. There was a reason why those groups didn’t get any rewards and those reasons were important to be communicated. No one did that; no one tried to make it happen.

Two wrongs don’t make a right – in this case it certainly didn’t. And even today after several months since the equation – I have this open nagging feeling in my head – we didn’t work as leaders (me and that other group) to let the people know what was right. We just acted and reacted.

Passion // Worth it?

I am back today, because I feel the need to write out my thoughts and get rid of negative energy that has been flowing around me. I have been working on a project for last 12 months and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I have loved every minute of the project. It has been challenging, and a great learning. I have simply loved the work and I didn’t realize when I was being driven by a passion.

Today is not the first day, when I don’t feel like being associated with this project. It is not one thing that has led to me feeling like this – it has been a combination of several things and some of those most recently. However, I am still able to find something in me that makes me go back and get stuff done. I still fine myself working on things when the chips are down.

But, this passion of mine takes so much out of me – so much so that it makes me think if all this is worth it?

I don’t have an answer to the question yet; but I am hopeful that one day i am able to define what this balance means for me.