April 27, 2013

Who Hasn't Been There?

So I was teaching a course this week in enterprise architecture, and some of the students asked about EA having a bad rap and brand (i.e. that it seems to not work so well in many organizations) and why is that? 

We had a pretty robust discussion around this--why some organizations fail and others succeed with EA.

We discussed the critical success factors that as the CIO or Chief Architect you can impact, and how these can drive planning and implementation for the organization to succeed. 

At the same time, we also acknowledged how--to be frank--not everything is in our control.

This was a class full of CIOs and Vice Presidents, and I gave an example and said you are all successful now in your jobs and careers, but raise your hand if you haven't been there--where you were on the outs and you boss or colleagues just didn't like you?

This was a class of about 20 people, and out of all these highly achieved folks, only one hand went up--a young kid--with only 3 or 4 years out of school, and still learning the ropes. 

Yes, this one person had not yet been on the losing end, but everyone else--all these successful people had been--ALL of them!

The point is not to say that success is just a chance event--it isn't! 

You have to work hard and try your best-- but no matter how much you think of yourself--it's even more important to remember that you don't control all the factors of your life that determine whether you succeed or fail.  

The same people that now had big, successful jobs, were the same people who had in a prior job or time been the person who could do no right at work. 

I tell myself to remember that there is personality, chemistry and fit at work; there is timing--and it is everything!--and there is how the stars are aligned. 

It helps a lot to be humble and learn, grow, work hard, never give up, have fun--and have faith in a mightier power above. 

From what I've seen, life is a cycle and today you may be down, but tomorrow you will be up (and the opposite is true too--so don't kick the person that is down and hurting). 

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)--for everything and for everyone. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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