Friday, October 05, 2012

Looking for Apprentice

Design workshop in Johannesburg. Lab testing in Sydney. Migration work in Riyadh.

I've worked as Global Consultant for more than 13 years, and about 6 years with Cisco Systems. I've traveled to more than 30 countries and I've engaged with many customers around the globe. I've done projects for customers in different industries and in multiple roles.

If someone asks me to describe my work, I usually replies: it's just like what Jason Bourne does, except I don't leave dead bodies.

Take over project in Praque. Meet the team in Munich. Re-establish customer trust in Bratislava.

In the past two years I started shifting my focus to multiple social ventures. I tried to build social networking group for professionals. I founded a non-profit organization to help students in my country to prepare for global market competition. I formed CCIE Club to re-connect all Indonesian CCIEs. I created CCIE93 mentoring program using a unique online learning platform.

I still enjoy working with global customers. I love solving customer issues. I always happy to see when customers apply my design or methodology to transform their network infrastructure to grow the business. But all the social ventures I initiated are the result of my gratitude to the good life I've got so far.

Breakfast in Dubai. Lunch in Vienna. Dinner in Budapest.

And I also realize that not many people can do what I do as Global Consultant. Or willing to do what I do. Or combination of both. During my travel I keep meeting the same folks in multiple places. I see familiar faces all the time. I keep doing all these global projects with the same persons I met in the past.

Is my work too boring for most people? If it's interesting, why don't I meet many global consultants like me? Or is it because it takes much more than technical skill to do the work, and not everyone can be qualified for it?

Present at Cisco Live San Diego. Meet friends in Silicon Valley. Drive Mustang through Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

I finally tried to build a list of what it takes to become a Global Consultant. The list consists of the skills, ability and experiences for each Global Consultant must have. Or so I thought.

It's beyond hard worker, fast learner, self-motivated, achiever, able to work under pressure or being passionate with the work.

It's about the right mindset, positive and can-do attitude.

It's about the ability to connect the dots.

Here is the list:

1. Adaptability
Global Consultant must be able to adapt with the new places. With the new people. With the new situation that may occur. Basically with all the changes that may happen.

2. Communication and Presentation Skill
Global project requires ability to communicate with people from different background and culture. Global Consultant must have the presentation skill to translate the technical terminology to non-technical person.

3. Team Player and Independent
It's not enough to be a team player. Or team leader, for that matter. Global Consultant must be able to work independently as well, with minimum supervision, anytime, anywhere, as long as the objectives are achieved.

4. T-shaped Technical Skill
Technical skill matters. And it's not enough to have in-depth skill in one particular technology, but to widen the horizon by knowing the other technologies too. Think about someone with a qualification equal to CCIE in Routing & Switching, and able to embrace MPLS within the core network, to deploy security measures with policies for all devices, and to integrate the solution to the next generation Data Center architecture.

5. Broad Experiences
Having broad experience is one way to build the confidence level. Dealing with many situations in different roles can hone the skills. In fact, that's one good way to build reputation.

6. Customer Oriented and Business-Aware
Last but not least, Global Consultant must always be focusing on the optimum result for the customers. Do what it takes to bring values and help customer's business to grow. At the end, that's all that matters.

When I look at the list above, I realize most of them can be taught. Global Consultant is indeed a result of combining mindset, attitude, skills and experiences. And a well designed institute should be able to produce one.

Make photos in Venice. Climb the pyramid in Mexico. Watch the game in Barcelona.

Who wants to become the new Global Consultant?

Wait for my next disruptive idea.


Le Chevalier said...


I only Jason Bourne travel around Malaysia only for the projects of Petronas....;-p

Daniel said...

Well i can be one :)

sanfran said...

Hi Himawan,

it looks like a great position indeed career-wise and professional-wise, but how do you manage your family commitments if you have those? it is a personal question I admit, sorry for asking if any concerns, just wondering how do you manage all of that.