Thursday, April 22, 2010

Felt Like High School

I am back.
Sorry for the silence.
Been super busy trying to get a contract re-bid out and was given a chance to attend a leadership camp in Hong Kong.
I was driving to work today and i was thinking to myself on how similar it felt now compared to when i was back in high school.
Rewind back one week ago, i was on my way to Hong Kong for a leadership camp organised by the company.
I work in a 45,000 strength company across 11 business lines. I am just a speck of dust serving in a small business line.
The leadership camp were attended by another 30 colleagues which i have not met, heard or even emailed before. They were in a different business line; all of them. They are all designers, architects, landscapers, planners. They come from a very esteemed business line that move, and rock the industry. Their presentation are never short of impressive - graphic wise. Makes the usual technical presentation look like boring rocket science that will get you dozed off after 3 minutes.
I was the ONLY one from a business line different from theirs. Infact, this leadership camp was meant JUST for their business line. I was, as they said "our featured guest".
I've learnt a lot in those 4 days, 3 nights i was there. I got some stuff to share, which i will do so via this blog. Keep tuned and keep coming back. I promise it will be worth your time.
I was handpicked by my leader, which explained why i was the only one that was different. There was me, and there were all of them.
Daunting. I am put into a pool of this business line future leaders. The same mover and shaker that will take over when the time comes. Daunting.
Felt like highschool. Very.
Back to today, i was driving to work.
I can't help thinking how much it felt like back in school. I was an active fler. I joined every club there was. I want to be a leader in all of them if i could. I want to stand up. I want to stand OUT. I thrive on leading. Kiasu.
Today, in this office i am working in. After 2.5 years here. I moved up three two grades. I changed name card and designation 4 times. My working CV looked impressive (if it make sense). I am the HSSE (health, safety, security and environment) lead for the country. I am the country manager serving an US based O&G client. I was the country manager for a Dutch based O&G client. Above all that, i am the group manager looking after all the O&G client there are in this country and i have 26 people reporting to me. The group make up half the office; with the other half split between Admin/Finance and the other group of five people. 
In short, it is like high school.  
Yesterday, i was called into the room by my country manager i.e. my direct boss. I was presented with an opportunity as the office will see a re-org soon. I was offered to take over and be a regional program manager for two of the three multinational O&G company. I will have Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Hong Kong reporting to me for these two clients. 
This is ON TOP of what i am doing now in the office as per above.
High school. Very.
Same afternoon, i was called into the room by my boss' boss. He explained to me, or rather, tried to explain how i am and will always be there to take on more - and excel in it.
Lets face it. Economy isn't doing too well and we are effected one way or another. Cost cutting is in the agenda and they are looking at me to pick up more - at no cost.
At no cost.
That shattered my hope.
I was disappointed.
I gave and i continue to give relentlessly. 
I created such a niche for myself that i can't find any successor to take over my position. As arrogant as i sound, i am almost ( say almost as no one is really) indispensible (something i've learnt too during the leadership camp; create a niche for yourself and you are indispensible - i've done that without realising)
And here i am, again, like high school, losing out on my benefit compared to a pseudo-expat.
The fact that i am bitching about it here, well, that's high school too.
I believe you all that read this, got my drift.
Question is : Should i bite the apple that was presented in front of me now and be the Regional lead, commanding well over 120 project managers, engineers and technicians?


  1. hey stupe
    waah, very the emo hor today? hang in there dude.. since you emo, i also share my emo thoughts..
    Corny as it may sound, with great power comes great responsibility :P
    I read 7 countries in your reporting list if you choose to accept the position. All you need is to be required to travel to at least maybe 2-3 of these 7 countries on a regular basis, then you're *@&#ed. That could be at the expense of what is most dear to you, your priceless time with loved ones and of course your sport.

    I believe no one is ever indispensible to a company. My guess is whether or not if they are willing to invest more (cost, time and effort) for an equal if not better replacement, just my 1 cent worth. ok, back to work :P

  2. Jansen - taikor. thanks. i hear you strongly. I've spoken to wifey, travelling is a not an issue. My issue is that i am not being compensated accordingly, i.e investment.
    I do not want to speculate if i am really that indespensible, but i guess if i continue to cause trouble like these, i will be out of job. But if that happened, then perhaps, i will just know how much i am really valued at.
    back to work. :)

  3. OP Stupe Bro,

    Nothing venture, nothing gain, but in dog eat dog world, you must think 2 steps ahead. Weigh all your options, the bait looks tempting, but once you take the bite, you will swallow the hook & sinker too.

    op mood@padangpasir

  4. Between a rock and a hard place mate...kinda concur with both of your friends,
    are you getting your due recognition
    Are you being undervalued or is it an interim stop gap,
    On the flip side you are being slotted for the entire country/regional role it increases your portfolio, visibility and ultimately increase your value to the industry, so wether after a year things take a turn...your wealth of experience makes you highly marketable and valuable...

    opens a whole new book and wide open horizons of great adventure
    Believe me the traveling will take its toll(I should know), esp on the values that you have with your great family, i guess as long as everyones expectations are laid out, its champagne choices to make....

    I need to get back on the bike or just out there again :)

    cheers mate

  5. Geoff - somehow, i feel i am like you, but you are better looking. Yeap, you can say it again, it's stuck between two places. I am planning to close a chapter and open a new one.
    Expectation has been set and when the time comes, all i need to do is to set it right with the management.
    I do not want to shortchange myself, neither do i want to deny the family my attention.
    it's a balance where no one wins.
    thanks bro.

  6. OP Mood Sir - i hear you. I hear you. I hear you. If i am biting the bait, rest assured the hook and sinker AND the fisherman will be coming down with me. If i do something, it will be all out.

  7. OP Stupe Bro,

    That's the OP spirit, I know you can do it. Just like me, when I accepted the offer to this padang pasir job, everybody thought I was crazy, yes crazy I am, but after more than 3 years here, I have another 10 months to complete my 4 years contract, no regrets.

    Good luck bro, follow your instincts.

    maarib yemen

  8. Hey .. it's a well written post ..And u shared a lot there.
    I udrstd wht u mean..even in my current position (not leading any major teams etc, not internationally involved in the biz) I knw how it's like to be "feelin like doing everything" but WTF w the compensation??

    But fro you, well.. perhaps u wan to start lokin thru & askin ard?
    Anyone in the HSSE (very skilled position) & with yr position would be able to get atr offer anytime me thinks.
    I'm sure u heard of marcus evans - now that i knw yr indsutry & position.

    We alws call HSE ppl for our programs. cos we knw they r alws in need to be updated on HSE issues. Anythin we realized too; most co has only 1 or 2 guy in a team,
    the fact tht ur

  9. Oh yea.all tht talkin, i forgot to ask u - got my email on Biotherm?

  10. Bro..

    ..Maybe a bit too late to comment...but i say go ahead bite the bullet...nothing better to have on your experience list then on managing multi-country resources during challenging economic times...also it can prep you for better times two cents.

    OP Azwin

  11. Azwin - thanks! Biting i will once it was fired from the gun. :) Will chew it and taste every single bit of it.