Last year , this week , I was in Austin TX -meeting my new boss and forming a team and planning for what we wanted to accomplish in 2016 . Turns out , this year I am going through the same thing this week – just a different boss/city/team . How cool is that ! On top of that – this might be the last flight of the year too . After the first 100K miles, I don’t keep track closely – but I am sure I didn’t cross 200K miles this year . There is a blessing !
He left me sleeping in my arms , just as he slept in my arms as a puppy the day he came home . I will miss you for ever kiddo !
The trip to U.K. was extra special this time – I got to catch-up with friends and relatives I haven’t seen in ages . The last time I saw my young cousin , he was in high school – and now he is a plastic surgeon who bought me a lovely dinner !
Then there was the trip to India for my college reunion . I never had a chance ( and had a fear of public speaking ) in college to get on a stage . So it was amusing and exciting to get an opportunity to address my friends as well as the final year students this time
Also managed to have breakfast with school mates , hit a movie with my bff from childhood, and ran into a buddy from school after 25 years and he works in IBM too, and managed to have meals with friends in Bangalore that I am in touch only on social media these days – absolutely priceless !
The best part of that trip was the couple of hours my father and I went out for dinner at the new restaurant next to his house. Achan used to take me to dinner frequently as a child and it was very nostalgic to do it again just by ourselves
Talking about Dallas – we started the year there celebrating my brother in law’s 40th birthday . And to add to the fun – I also managed to recruit a young rock star developer at the party ! Always be recruiting 🙂
Things were pretty good on work front too . Between (my) luck and (their) smarts – we had an amazing year with fantastic results . The sheer variety of transformative projects – redefining guest experience for a theme park , cognitive analytics to get fine grained insights on viewership at a cable company , advanced smart metering at utilities ….the quality of work we did for clients was outstanding . I can’t wait for more in 2017 .
The real highlight for me this year was that I spent equal amounts of time with my team that I spent with clients . I think I have somewhat succeeded in letting go of my urges to be a front line player and become more of a full time coach for the team – of course with a few(?) exceptions 🙂 . The best part of the time I spent with the team was with my younger colleagues who are startup off in their careers . I am convinced that I want to work for some of them before I retire !
I am also blessed with a bunch of senior partners that I learn a lot from every time we talk . The guy on the left of this picture below – Dave Lubowe – was the one who taught me many years ago that we don’t have customers , Only clients !
A highlight for me this year was college recruiting . The passion and curiosity that I see in the next generation of leaders that I met at universities – its the most energizing experience . We are in the talent business and I will do more of this next year without a doubt
I took a conscious decision last year to minimize the number of conferences I attend . I only did 4 – and the big ones were SAP’s Sapphirenow and our own World of Watson . Both were amazing events and it was great to to catch-up with old friends and make new ones . But the one thing I will never forget is meeting Grady Booch !
I also have mixed feelings when I look at the photo below that we took at sapphire . My two dear friends Gagan and Dale have both moved on from IBM . I look forward to cheering them on as they start their new adventures
There was a lot more work life balance this year . I got to drive Shreya to school , attend her orchestra concerts and swim team meets and go for weekly family dinners to our favorite restaurants . Dhanya and I also managed to go to an Ilayaraja concert in Dallas .
All it took was to reasrange my work life a little by taking less critical calls while driving , delegating a bit more and generally stopping a bunch of low value work that I routinely did in the past . The only part that didn’t work out was a Canadian vacation which we had to abort after one day to rush home to take care of Boss . The one casualty was that I had to get out of a few whatsapp groups to make this work – need to find a way to make this work as I absolutely love the conversations there .
Hobo is now the senior guy since Boss left . He is about as mature as a 6 month old puppy , although he will be 8 on New Year’s Eve ! I am still not used to seeing only two fur kids in my photos instead of three
The photo above reminded me that we did move to a new house earlier in the year . It was quite dramatic with how the process rolled out – but it’s home now and we love it . The only regret is that I have not even hit the driving range once , let alone played a round here . On the bright side – the sheer number of golf balls that land in my back yard gives me comfort that there are plenty of bad golfers out there in the wild . I am in good company 🙂
India has had an amazing year of success in cricket and I managed to catch most of the matches live by sacrificing sleep . If they continue to have this form – I think 2017 will see me sleeping less too . That said , I hardly attended any dog shows . Need to change that next year .
While I did not manage to read all the books I wanted to – it was an above average year in terms of quantity and quality of reading . The three that I loved a lot outside business books are here
On blogging front , I was just plain lazy . I read a lot of blogs but generally didn’t write as much as I usually do . Laziness combined with lack of inspiration is a bad combo . I will need to try harder to write more . For the first time since I started blogging , I have plenty of drafts in my wordpress app – just need to decide if any are worth publishing . My gut feel is that I will delete all or most of the drafts over Xmas .
Merry Xmas and Happy new year everyone !