I didn’t make this picture, someone else did. But I considered it an honour.
My company recently held a Sales Kick-Off (SKO) for the second time this year in Las Vegas. One of the things that we did was to highlight deals that had been won that were really important for particular reasons. The one that was highlighted that involved me was one where we did a number of things right, including: not qualifying out (figuring out how we could responsibly qualify in, without lying or exaggerating), performing well in our Proof of Concept (PoC) (though the solution I represent wasn’t ultimately chosen), but most importantly, working with the customer to change the conversation around one of our other tools (SSL Visibility, or responsible Encrypted Traffic Management (ETM)) so that that tool was not only required for all vendors in the PoC, but which became something we were able to provide to the end customer at a net benefit to the company of several million dollars.
As part of the preparations for the SKO, the sale manager had to prepare slides that highlighted the deal, and our various involvements, and as a placeholder, the above “joke” slide was used, and I was very happy to see that I had had Sir Patrick Stewart’s character of “Jean-Luc Picard” from “Star Trek the Next Generation” used for me. Interestingly enough, the placeholder slide was shown at the SKO, in front of 2000+ salespeople, all of whom had good laugh, before it was switched to the slide with our actual names and pictures.
Switch to a few weeks later, and the trailer for “Logan” has just come out. (Warning, some graphic violence – the movie will be rated R.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhFP0V6n7aY Aside from being an amazing trailer for what looks to be an awesome movie, when it started, when Sir Patrick starts with “Logan, what did you do?” I was immediately taken aback, because it sounded like my father was speaking.
Sir Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier in the trailer.
My Dad (taken recently). Not exact of course, but close enough for parallels.
Like Sir Patrick, my father is British, and roughly the same age (though my Dad is a little more than five years older), and they have similar accents. Of course, Sir Patrick was likely affecting the accent of a slightly older person, which means that he basically got it completely right, as in many cases, my Dad, slightly older than he, sounds like the older accent affected. The movie will be set in 2024, and I’ll be a (hopefully young) 49 then, and soon to reach my half century, with my beautiful wife reaching forty and my son soon to reach ten.
Of course, the parallels got me thinking. My Dad is recently in hospital again, and ageing is something one thinks more about after turning forty. (I’m forty-one now.) I do spend a considerable amount of time fighting it with biohacking where I can, attempting to be bullet-proof where I can (that’s a number of different posts I’ll work on), but it will reach us all eventually. (Though, to be honest, if you follow Ray Kurzweil at all, and are familiar with the “Three Bridges”, the last of those is essentially the ability to stay ageing as technology allows us to remain you, fit, and healthy basically forever.) As an INTJ I don’t often spend a lot of time with feelings, but as someone attempting to develop their emotional IQ, as well as someone who’s got conflict over the emotional impact of an ageing and ailing parent, well, sometimes things just hit home all at once. There’s a number of places one could go with this, but for me it comes down to the concepts of the ideal – the representation of masculinity with a subtle grace and confidence, a willingness to be diplomatic where possible and forceful only where required, and of living in such a way as to not only uphold the ideals represented both by my father and Sir Patrick (and his characters), but to also set a positive example for my son. As someone attempting to continuously improve, I’ve got a high bar set, but I’m going to do everything within my power to meet it.
“Logan, you still have time.”