Thursday, March 29, 2012

For He's A Jolly Good Fellow

Day 35 - While it has been a quintessential week, 28th of March did bring about a new aspect of teams to the fore.

For starters, I have been involved with a project for last few months, that has been close to me in ways more than one. Not that the project is huge – it is a typical project. But what differentiates this project is the timeline in which this project was to be completed.

In an industry where it takes a deal closure to take months, land acquisition takes another half a year and execution takes another half, talks of any project that takes less than a year from conceptualization to commissioning would have been a laughing stock a few months back. Recent advancements in technology and processes have shrunk this end-to-end time frame to 8-10 months.

However, when our Chairman called me one fine day in Dec and told me that an opportunity could come up where the timeframe available would be less than 3 months, it was yet another super ambitious opportunity I was looking at, just like many others I had become accustomed to.

I am actually a die-hard optimist, and when I came to know that the deal could be real – I was excited as well as depressed! Depressed because I heard from every nook and corner that this project would not see the light of day; that it’s crazy to think of such unrealistic timeframes, what with the political and tactical complications in this particular deal. But at the same time, I was excited to the hilt. I was being given the opportunity to run with this from the beginning to the end; This was to stretch oneself beyond imagination. It was like a dream one can see when wide awake.

What this involved wasn’t really my cup of tea. I have not really been a field guy. I am not a marathon guy, nor am I good at sprints. This deal needed someone to sprint a marathon, 100 metres at a time, and the next 100, and the next, and the next.   

Any which ways, I ended up running the first 100, and the next, and the next, and cutting long story short, finally ran the final dash a week back.

It has been an unbelievable journey, these last 3 months, and there are so many stories to be told. However, this post has already digressed enough from the intended objective, so here it goes back.

Day 35 - While it has been a quintessential week, 28th of March did bring about a new aspect of teams to the fore.

I arrived at J in the morning for some finishing formalities for the project, and was supposed to leave back for Delhi the same evening. However, during my usual site visit where I meet with all team members who’ve been at site for last few months and take the status check, I came to know that it was birthday of one of the team members.   

He looked happy (of course, it was his birthday, and he was still not 30!), yet disappointed (again, he was away from friends and family – so I could understand why). One look at him, and I knew I had to stay back in the evening. It’s not just about birthday of one out of a team of 15, but about the feeling of having those who care for you, close to you. And to add to it, about the feeling of having those close to you, care for you.

So we did bring about cakes and drinks and what not in the evening, spent the evening like no one from the team expected to, smudged his face with cake time and again, drenched him with drinks on various occasions, and did not bother if we were getting late for the late night movie, while all this was happening. I just wish he didn’t miss his friends doing the same to him this year, and he would remember this one for the times to come.  

The day ended with a smiling birthday boy face, and the satisfaction was no less than I would have on my own birthday. And I did realize that teams gel together, eat together, work together, stay together all the time, but at an additional level, teams have to connect together. After all, it is about moments we gather from wherever we are, whoever we are with, at whatever point in time.

I met the guy again today, and he was as jolly as I have ever seen him. For He's A Jolly Good Fellow....

And no, it is not day 35 at a stretch – thankfully it is spread between Jan/Feb/Mar of this year.

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