2016 nearly in the rear view mirror 

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 !

Last year in fall, I lost my father in law and my uncle . This year , I lost my fur kid Boss .

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 !

Sadly , my sister lost her fur baby too – two year old Charlie whom I loved just as dearly . Such a tragedy 

There were just two international trips this year – the lowest in two decades . I could get used to it !

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 ! 

Next time I should find some time to visit my old Liverpool neighborhood .

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 !

Even sneaked in a conference on sentiment marketing at SCMS business school 

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 

It was also pretty cool that we managed to celebrate Onam with my sister and family in Dallas – something that has not happened in a long time . 

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 !


Published by Vijay Vijayasankar

Son/Husband/Dad/Dog Lover/Engineer. Follow me on twitter @vijayasankarv. These blogs are all my personal views - and not in way related to my employer or past employers

6 thoughts on “2016 nearly in the rear view mirror 

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