For the weeks leading up to my trip to visit my colleagues across the world I was socializing my visit with my team as well as anyone else who’d listen. I talk a lot, and I talk even more when I am nervous. And I was, nervous that is. For the past decade of my life I had built and operated a company. It was a war of the roses – love, hate, the whole ball of wax, but the business model kept me close to home – the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Ever since Mike became my new boss, I’d had a new role and essentially a new take on what it meant to be part of a company. While I matured quite nicely with some things in my professional career – on others I was lagging behind. I am now the VP Worldwide Scrum Business supporting a global sales and delivery team here at CollabNet. As Dom (our VP and GM of Europe) told me “That Worldwide means that you’re new KPI is Frequent Flier miles.” With this trip I’d earn the Premier Executive Status with United Airlines (for those who don’t know what that means – it gives me access to those nice lobbies in the airports and means I’ve flown 50,000 miles in the last 5 months).
None of that really mattered to my daily standup teamlet. They were happy to hear for the 24th time in as many days that I was on my way. Since May I’ve been to Europe four times, but travel to India for those of us from North America is quite different – a lot of shots, medications, and stories. From the veterans who’d gone through it they all had the stories. It reminded me a lot of when my wife and I had our first baby. At that exciting and nerve wracking time in our lives we heard a lot of baby stories – do this, watch out for that…really a universal equalizer. People would literally stop us at the grocery store and give advice. As it related to going to India, the most powerful story came from my new CEO. In Orlando, at Agile 2010, he told the grim tale as he escaped unharmed from a head on car crash when he was on a similar tour through India years earlier. None of these stories helped me relax, they instead heighted my senses and anxiety which tends to drive those around me a little batty.
The travel to Chennai from Washington State is gruesome. Leaving at 0930 AM Friday Morning I arrived to the Hotel Le Royal Méridien at 0130 Sunday morning. Three planes, two nights, and about 9,500 miles traveled.
It’s now Sunday, October 03, 2010 (local time) and I just finished breakfast. After writing this blog I’ll catch up on some reading on Agile and Lean stuff by Larman and Vodde and then work on a customer proposal in the evening. The nervousness is gone. I’m here, it’s all good, and I am thrilled to see my colleagues at the office tomorrow morning and I’m in a place I thought I’d never get a chance to visit – welcome to Chennai.