Friday, September 28, 2007

One of the Brightest Stars

Taken from James Blunt's All the Lost Souls.
Posted here as dedication to those who dare to make a difference.

One day your story will be told.
One of the lucky ones who's made his name.
One day they'll make you glorious,
Beneath the lights of your deserved fame.

And it all comes round.
Once in a lifetime like it always does.
Everybody loves you cause you've taken a chance,
Out on a dance to the moon, too soon.
And they'll say told you so.
We were the ones who saw you first of all.
We always knew that you were one of the brightest stars.

One day they'll tell you that you've changed,
Though they're the ones who seem to stop and stare.
One day you´ll hope to make the grave,
Before the papers choose to send you there.

And it all comes round.
Once in a lifetime like it always does.
Nobody loves you cause you´ve taken a chance,
Out on a dance to the moon, too soon

And they'll say told you so.
We were the ones who saw you first of all.
We always knew that you were one of the brightest stars.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Special One

I’m not a sport kinda guy. Hey, I said that before.

But I like to watch some sports, and one of them is the English Premier League (EPL) football competition (this year it's called Barclays Premier League since they are the main sponsor). One of the club that I admire the most is Chelsea. Well, most of the time I can’t watch when they play. But I have been in love in this London-based club since the coach was Ruud Gullit. So at least I always try to follow the competition even it’s just through the news or some sport TV program that shows the highlighted goals.

During the past few years, Chelsea has become a very strong football team in English League and in International competition. They haven’t won any Champions League yet, considered as the most prestigious club trophy in European football, but get two EPL champions within three years plus few other local cups is their highest achievement in 50 years. And that’s because a guy name Jose Mourinho.

This is the guy who came to Chelsea in 2004 as one of the highest managers in football. This is the guy who turn Chelsea from ordinary club to a world-class and win two back-to-back EPL champions. This is a guy who said in his first press conference: "Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one". And I believe he is indeed the special one.

Jose is full of controversy from his comments, but he’s a genius when it comes to build a solid team and strategy. And Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, used to support Jose by giving him a blank check to buy any players he wants. He used to. Because for some reason, the tension between this Russian owner with the genius coach has been raised lately. Many small incidents happened between them. The owner stated winning EPL is good but he wants the club to win European Championship league. The owner would like to see his team to not only win the game but win it with a beautiful football style. The owner got involved in choosing the player to be hired and obviously this wouldn’t make any coach to be happy. And the peak was few days ago when Chelsea announced a shocking news that Jose Mourinho is leaving the team 'by mutual consent'.

I don’t know whether Jose got sacked or decided to leave. Today I watched the first game without Mourinho and Chelsea goalkeeper must picked the ball from his net two times without any chance to score back to Manchester United. What to expect? Not anyone can just replace a legendary coach who at the same time gives the spirit to the team.

But one of my concern here is the fact that sometimes achieving something extra ordinary is not enough. Once you deliver a superb result, people want you to deliver even better. So no guarantee that after completing a job with satisfied result we won’t get sacked because we don’t deliver the same level of result in the next job. It happens not only as a football coach, but as well as an engineer, a consultant or a project manager. It doesn’t mean we don’t get appreciation, but the celebration party should only last for a day since the next day we must start preparing for the next game. Or perhaps it’s just a matter of attitude. We must deliver the trophy at the same time mind the attitude to the owner. So we always have to deliver superb result all the time, while showing a good attitude to the stake holders. And this may be a good thing to maintain a high quality and consistent result.

I guess we all have to be the special one consistently.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Me No Hero

I have just completed watching the whole first season of Heroes couple of days ago. I know, it’s very lame. The season has been over zillion years ago and the next season will come very soon but I have just finished watching it recently. I won’t blame anyone, and surely I won’t blame my CCIE journey or my works. Let’s just say it was difficult to find time to watch, okay? I remember I even watched the last two episodes in Changi Airport, while waiting for my flight.

Anyway, I like the whole idea of ordinary people who suddenly realize they can do extra ordinary things. Each of them tries to discover and use the ability for his or her own purpose. And just like any other movies or TV series that I watch, I started comparing the philosophies and the characters in Heroes to my own life. That doesn’t make sense, I know. But I’m a kind of guy who ridiculously believes the only time when the world makes sense is during CCIE lab, so I guess I can do whatever I want including imagine myself as one of the heroes.

There are many characters with their own special abilities. Nathan Petrelli is a New York congress man who can fly. Hiro Nakamura is a Japanese nerd who can manipulate the space-time continuum so he can stop the time and teleport himself. Matt Parkman is a police officer who can hear other people’s thoughts. Isaac Mendez is an artist who can paint the future. Sylar is a serial killer who kills other super-powered individuals in order to take their abilities. Peter Petrelli, just like Sylar, can absorb others abilities but he doesn’t have to kill them, just merely stands next to them instead.

Looking at those characters, I can see similar situation in my Advanced Services team. I have a colleague who has specialty in one area, while some others have their own specialties. They may not get it because of their DNA, but with hard work, dedication and consistency in learning, but some people can really reach the highest level in an area within the network engineering skills.

How about me? Somehow I feel like myself is being as Peter. I have no special abilities or skills by my own. Everytime I do project with other engineers, I ‘absorb’ their abilities. I haven’t been able to be part of the team where I must taking part with my specific ability. I always involve in the project where I have to combine all the engineers’ skills and deliver them as one piece of solution. And most probably that is because I have no specialties, no in-depth skill. Currently I work in Service Provider field but with most experience in Enterprise network. So anyone I’m currently working with always have more experiences. That means most of the time I can just absorb and learn from the others.

Back to the TV series, so which ability do you like? Do you want to be able to fly, stop the time, hear other thoughts, or can paint the future? Or perhaps other abilities from different other characters such as spontaneous regeneration, can pass through solid objects, or able to talk to electrical devices?

I don’t want to be like Peter but it seems like this is the closest thing I have so far. I’d rather be someone with a specific skill and not like this young Petrelli who can absorb others’ but sometime can’t control it. Or at least I want to be like Sylar. Surely I can’t open up my colleagues head to take their brain, but Sylar is much better in controlling his powers.

Some say, everyone can be hero. But I want to become Sylar.

That’s not because I want to become a bad guy. But having a thought that I don’t have any specialties is really killing me. Or able to absorb from others but can’t control the skill is a burden as well. In my case, I can learn from other colleagues but may not be able to recall the skills at the right time. I have been thinking about it and to be frank I start getting this fear. A fear that one day I may end up as someone who knows many but nothing in depth. One day I may realize that I have nothing but just a shallow understanding of many things.

I guess I might blow up someday, just like Peter.