Friday, April 23, 2010

Success Requires Sacrifice

I am not sure if it is ethical to blog about someone's personal life. But I hope it's not going to hurt anyone.

Btw, the subject of the blog is "Success Requires Sacrifice". I came to know about it when my boss quoted (current) it. But it is very unfortunate; I missed to learn the same from my ex-kind-of-boss (EKOB).

Ekob and I joined together in a organization as contractors, In fact, I am one month senior to him, but he should be 1/2 years elder to me. Initially it was fun to work in work-free environment, where you don't have any project but attend lots of meetings and trying to prove who has more talent. I kept on proposing solutions to improve security (for no project). Yes, Time passed.

EKOB had a assignment, to review a Oracle stored procedure. EKOB almost took 2 weeks. Output was very good document, clean product, and clear communication, few more suggestions to change architecture. Most of us make fun out of him that he is trying to create mount out of a mole. Yes, Time Passed.

We are all having assignment, Ekob completed another smaller module, he documented,.., suggested to revamp few applications, if possible advised to revamp entire architecture. Needless to say, we mad lots of fun at him. Yes, Time passed.

We all are having next assignment, Ekob who started working on another important .Net assignment. He spent lots of night at office, also learnt history geography of the application (all the way to merger history). He learnt every bit of the application. As per as my myopic view "It is sophisticated data entry system, with 10+ html forms, processed by Asp.Net 1.0, Oracle, nothing more to learn from it". Yes, Time passed.

Forgot to mention, the task he was working was attempted couple of times and failed miserably. It took another 6 months for him to complete (with the help of few good developers). He is not great at java, .net. But he read all the code as if it is a book. Gave few "review comments" to the good developers. And made sure there were nearly no bugs in the system. Yes, Time Passed.

Did I forget to mention? At the completion of the project, he invited us for a drink party and by the time he became an employee also?

Two more assignment, he spent 75% of his time at office. By then, he knew entire architecture, operation, flow of data. Became mentor for "everyone". He worked hard to the extent that one day when he reaches home early at the morning without key, he slept outside the door cause he was so tired.

I never directly worked for him for any projects, but often consulted him to gather more about architecture details. In between there were recession, most of us applied for PR. Hence we will have some fall-back plan to work in other companies in Singapore, he didn't. He was busy with projects.

Two years later, he literally headed the entire Singapore development team. It just took another 9 months for him to become head of the development team for the department itself. And now he moved to USA. In summary, a contractor replaced his super boss in 2 years 11 months, which we wouldn't have dreamt about it. But I guess I should also update this blog sooner because I can understand where he kept his sight at now.

A person, who completed his studies in polytechnic before his first job, is really a great achievement. But honestly his wife and kids should have great contribution in his success.

I was a fool who took 3 years to learn a point "Success requires sacrifice", which I could have taken just 2-3 months from another colleague. Nothing wrong that I am still working as a contractor, I deserve equivalently as my EKOB deserves his success. There is a new book titled, "Leader without a title", But I have witnessed it a year ago.

Moral of the story, Success requires sacrifice, Success also requires the ability to drink 6 bottles of beer (6*660ml) consistently in your life (he does). There is a saying in Tamil, "No body nails your ass, you just sit on it", Similar to that "Nobody gives success, you just pluck from your challenges"

I also like to wish him through the blog "Best of luck to achieve great success in your future endeavor, please invite me for this drink party too!".

Thursday, March 11, 2010

TIPS to improve communication skills

People struggle only when needs to communicate formally. They become nervous. It is not natural to them. For natural formal communications, we have to practice it.

There are good and bad communicator, you can't be inbetween.

1. Objective
You should know what you trying to accomplish with your communication. So your communication should have Objective.

Clear and, purposeful communication always time consuming, but important. if possible, write your objectives in short verbs than explaining it.

2. Audience
Understand who is your audience, what do you want your audience to feel, believe, understand, react? Asses them, Use the different tone.

Who is primary target audience, what is negative perception which you would come across, what is their knowledge, resistance and negative perceptions?

Many audiences have short attention span and memory; get to your points very quickly. To influence audience, think from audience point of view.

Keep in mind that, expert audience will look for details, it not, they may not know the basics too.

1. Give attention to details, practice
2. Avoid unfocused ideas.

Strong Finish is very important in communication. Call to action or summary is very important.

It provides stability and understanding. Summay allows audiences to digest your message. Summary should have TODO list.

Note : Most of the tips from learnking kit "Teaching you : Communication SKILLS", I recommend them.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


I spend lot of time in reading, but often disappointed cause not able to recollect what I have read. Recently I came across above acronym. It seems like reading requires lot of decipline.

1. Glance the whole book
2. Read about what are all the chapters, sections, sub-sections
3. Pictures, charts, tables, bolds and italics

Ask yourself following questions
1. What are we tying to learn?
2. What is covered in the given material?
3. Who, when why, where and how questions about the reading material?

By completing questions steps, it will help us to understand weather the given material is worth reading, if yes, then it also answers about information we are going to collect from it.

1. It supposed to be study :)
2. Studying is different from reading (not like reading my blog)
3. Concentrated effort without distraction, chapter by chapter.

1. Take notes in your own words.
2. Recollect what you read the last section, chapter.
3. How you could relate yourself with those information.
4. Organize quiz to yourself. [Creating questions will prove, how much worth your effort]

1. You asked many questions, now review how much it answered.
2. Summarize what you read.

Remember and religiously follow the steps. It will surely help you.

Hope it helps! Enjoy reading!