Lightning Does Strike Twice

It has been about four years since I first decided to step into the consulting lifestyle.  In that time one of my “children” has completed High School, and then his first year of college.  Next year my daughter will finish High School as well.

It has been an amazing four years for me – I have been able to spend time with my kids as required – but mostly I have been able to spend an inordinate amount of time learning.  Ten years ago I learned by reading books – today I learn more by surfing the Internet – it is still reading, but it is so much faster, and so much more available (and “find-able!”.

One of the things my time in consulting has taught me is that I miss people.  I miss the challenge of building teams – not just hiring people, but building functional groups that work well together to build more than any single persons could have done.

So, taking stock of my life, as I am often wanton to do, I asked myself, “What is next”?  In a year I will have two kids in college, and perhaps neither of them left at home.

It was time for me to answer the question, “What does Rob want?”.

So I looked back in my life experiences and tried to zero in on what made me the most happy – what did I love to do so much that I could do it for the rest of my life?  Raising children certainly tops my list – but I can’t raise them forever – in fact, I am already being outsourced in that position – by my children themselves.

Raising children is like building good teams – the end goal is that eventually they won’t need depend on you anymore.

I decided I needed to go back to work with people – preferably young, energetic people, and certainly people smarter than I am.  I have always been lucky in surrounding myself with people smarter than I am (and please – PAUL! – no comments that this should be easy – it isn’t).

This realization came over a several month period – I didn’t wake up one day having come to this “epiphany”.

I missed building teams.  I need to work with smart people.  I MUST work for a company that understands that I am a unique person – I am opinionated, passionate, determined, outspoken, opinionated, and outspoken.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.  And I am sorry if I repeated myself.

I need a company that doesn’t exist outside of startups – I needed security, because I will have two kids in college.  It must be nimble.  It must be willing to listen, and learn – even as it teaches.  But I also needed the excitement that keeps me engaged.  I need to constantly invent.  I need to work with smart people that will make me smarter.  I needed to be someplace that allows me to make a difference every day.  I needed to build something that affects a lot of people, because after helping build WiFi – it takes a big project to be a “big deal”.

And most of all – I need to be able to help.  My work must have value – to me, and to the people I work with.  And to the customers – who I never shy away from or refuse a conversation with.

In the next day or two I hope to share with you the company that is all of that, and more.  How much more is something I expect to find out soon – and something I hope to grow over time.

But don’t worry – I won’t change my blogging style/habits.  I wouldn’t work for a company that thought they could control my freedom of expression outside the office.

The list of companies I wouldn’t work for is rather large.  So I’ll save you that and instead share with you in the next couple days who I would work for – and I will tell you exactly why I made that choice.

Comments

  1. “I have always been lucky in surrounding myself with people smarter than I am (and please – PAUL! – no comments that this should be easy – it isn’t).”

    Rob, when I mentioned in a private conversation with you that managing a team of REALLY smart people is usually like herding cats, I was expressing the opinion that that is pretty much close to impossible! Not that it was easy!

    Try herding a few cats for a while, and you will see what I mean … 😉

  2. You have actually mentioned some companies on your blog before that you said would like to work for including Microsoft!

    What an exciting new chapter! And are you sure you are not in love with your work?!? 😉

  3. @Lynn – Thanks. I will certainly blog what happens – and don’t ever question raising kids – nothing more important in anyone’s lives than that,

    Rob

  4. Thanks for sharing this Rob. I’m really looking forward to your follow-up posts on the mystery company. Even though my kids are young (2 and 5), I know that raising them is the best thing I’m doing right now. And like you, I would love to work for a company where I can learn and work with a lot of smart people.
    So, maybe I can learn a thing or two about how you are achieving this mutual goal.

  5. I got a kick out of the two women (married!) friends of mine that got the twit with just the subject of this post – both called me within minutes, and both asked, “Are you in love!?!?”

    I love they both care for me that much!