Friday, September 11, 2009

Back to Work


The project manager was back to work today after resting from his assignment in Canada. He was sick for a few days after arriving last week. There were a few questions on his location in the past few days. Some speculated that he was out of the country, perhaps on vacation. Others speculated that he was really sick and could not be reached over the phone. I spoke to him on Tuesday morning when he called me. He asked me to set-up the meeting room for a session he scheduled at 9am. He attended remotely from his house I assumed. He was absent again the next day which forced us to cancel a meeting we had scheduled with another contributor.


Rumors can really fly when one does not inform others of their location. My other boss was wondering why the project manager was not yet at the office when his initial plan was to be back last week. So that may have triggered a lot of speculation especially when my other boss was asking some questions on certain purchases he made. I guess my mind went into ‘conspiracy’ mode again as I tried to decipher the meaning of the absences and queries. After a while, the business leader came around and suggested to cancel the scheduled meeting with the contributor due to the absence. When I saw the project manager back in the office this morning he apologized and wished we did not cancel the meeting on his account. What a merry go round!


We also had a meeting this morning with the team in France. We are now in the midst of the design phase and a series of meetings are needed to flesh out the details. I find myself leading the other small project due to the other large ones that my boss is focusing on. I find that all the lessons I have learned are now important. Most especially the manner in which projects are conducted that my good friend taught me long ago in the Philippines. He is now way up in the organization and he, in fact, delayed the major project we are working on here. But he eventually approved it last Tuesday to move forward (in fact during the meeting that my boss asked me to arrange). Everything is truly connected like a circle.


I guess I am also being put to the test. At least to try and lead the project considering the scarcity of resources and the focus on too many project by the team. The skills that are lacking here are leadership, functional and technical skills. I guess leadership also includes a slew of complementary skills like coordination, communication, clarity and other such interpersonal skills. I am comfortable in this role and I find that my training on the new company process is bearing fruit as well. In Asia, I was maybe middle to low specialist but now I find myself near the top of the field. I guess the old adage is correct wherein one should always strive to be prepared. I am now in a situation where all my skills and experience are being put to the test.


Strangely moving here to the US has also required me to exercise all my knowledge. for example, buying and driving a car, going about using GPS or maps, working with different agencies to get things done (from my sons college requirements, to selling a house, etc.), looking for and buying a new house, learning all the software applications that is needed here at work and life, going around seeing the places and so on. Modesty aside, I think it needed a virtuoso performance to move ones family here and prepare the groundwork to gently adapt them to the local environment. A soft landing as I would describe it not only for my family but also for myself when working with my new colleagues and work environment. I guess it is still too early to tell and I guess the pressure and the challenges will soon increase as more work comes my way in the coming months.

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