Beware of your worst enemy EGO


Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Hi Folks,

 

Off topic but I think worth mentioning. I had a discussion with a fellow presenter at KubeHuddle this weekend. This person has achieved a lot more than me in the Kubernetes and IT world and I have a genuine respect for them. What struck me during our conversation was an apparent lack of ego in my partner’s interactions. There was not even the slightest nuance of bragging or self aggrandisement. At one point I said “you must be very proud about having achieved so much”. To my great surprise the response was very placid. “only the insecure and fools make great importance of their achievements, a bucket that is empty is easily filled with any liquid until it overflows, but a pipe conducts the liquid through and the liquid does not spill, be the pipe not the bucket”

I put down the response to the person coming from a very different cultural background than mine. After all I grew up in the Canadian/American “push push, go  harder harder, work more more, stand above the rest culture which focuses on the “win” and not the process. 

After some thought I decided to turn the focus back onto myself.  Do I work in IT, post on forums, take part in Ambassador programs because I need attention or because I simply enjoy working in IT? The honest answer was a bit of both but after further thought I realised that I really only gained true satisfaction from the latter. The desire for attention and confirmation from others is never fully satisfied, it is the bucket that is forever empty and will always at some point overflow. There will always be someone better, smarter and more original that you and so the battle for positive assessment from others is always a losing endeavour. Your appetite will grow stronger during the meal!

 However, the fun and joy from working with technologies and spreading this knowledge to others never ceases to deliver a deep down sense of satisfaction. If you can spread your enthusiasm and views on a certain given technology the reward is a million times better than the points or awards that are given out in various gaming strategies. 

As human beings we are not static but fluid, the person you are today is not necessarily the person you will be tomorrow. However, the good news is that we have much more power to control that evolution than we may realise. Every day wake up and self analyse. Ask before action. For example am I creating a post or posting a comment just to gain or am I trying to explain? Does seeing my face on a list of speakers fill me with unwarranted hubris? then perhaps I had better not look. 

After winning a major battle Roman Generals would be given a triumph, which among other things included a procession through the streets of Rome in an open chariot. The General would be enthusiastically welcomed by the populace and treated as a hero but the cunning Romans made sure that they had a person standing behind the General whispering “you are not a God you are a man”. Obviously one could see here the work of jealous Emperor’s worried about potential coup d’etats but at the same time there was wisdom in the practice and an understanding that the human ego can in the end defeat even the most powerful general.

Beware of your ego and keep it under constant surveillance and control!


15 comments

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

The humility is one of the bests adjectives that we always need to run for.

I like to think that we can try to reach a senior career, but never lost the junior spirit!

Userlevel 7
Badge +20

Love this reflection.

 

I always say, we’re standing on the shoulder of giants.

 

Where would we be in our careers without Veeam.

Where would Veeam be without the amazing technologies it leverages.

Where would those technologies be without those that preceded and evolved into their current iterations.

This follows down and down to the operating system and a few key names such as Linus Torvalds, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs might come to mind. And where would the operating systems be without the CPU architectures that drive them, and again more names will echo out such as Gordon Moore & Steve Wozniak. And those architectures are revisions and improvements on architectures that came before.

We can follow this path back and see names such as Alan Turing, and his incredible contributions to the field, but then we can also reflect back to how Alan read extensive notes from Ada Lovelace herself and once again see how even Alan Turing was standing upon the shoulders of Ada Lovelace.

This continues throughout history, other key names such as Charles Babbage but this still follows back further based on principles of human-driven ‘computing’ that enabled the concepts that could be used by Charles to design his machine around.

 

The point of my writing above there is, no-one has done this alone, without any historical influence or building block for where they are now.

But collectively, humanity has designed some truly wonderful things.

 

I’ve said for a long time, when my career is done and I’m on my final 5 years to wind down, I want to go into teaching, I want to pass the torch. It’s the reason I blog and share my knowledge, to not do so is a crime against all those that shared their knowledge historically in the pursuit of more knowledge.

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

If I was honest, I’m a little of both as well @Geoff Burke . I can honestly say I started interacting with VMware/Veeam communities because I love doing so and really enjoy getting to know tech colleagues. I did this the 1st few yrs of my vExpert years. No swag was involved, minus VMW licensing...& early on, even those weren’t being disseminated. It was purely for the “joy” of lab’ing on and promoting a fun, new tech → virtualization. Then vendors started offering swag and I think that became most folks’ main focus to wanting to join vendor evangelist communties. Don’t want to assume; and not wholistically for sure, but just a guess.

I had a discussion on this topic on Twitter a few yrs ago with someone; how I thought it would be better for folks to have that ‘do it for the knowledge-sharing’ focus as @MicoolPaul stated, rather than the ‘material’ (swag & accolades). He disagreed, but that’s ok. I think internal fulfillment is better & more ‘eternal’. Anyway, good reflection.

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

That is the best attitude to have and great to see how humble people can be.  It is great to see this from many in our industry.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

It pays to be humble at all times! There is a saying as follows: Pride comes (goes) before a fall. This means, when someone is excessively proud, he often suffers a fiasco. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

If I was honest, I’m a little of both as well @Geoff Burke . I can honestly say I started interacting with VMware/Veeam communities because I love doing so and really enjoy getting to know tech colleagues. I did this the 1st few yrs of my vExpert years. No swag was involved, minus VMW licensing...& early on, even those weren’t being disseminated. It was purely for the “joy” of lab’ing on and promoting a fun, new tech → virtualization. Then vendors started offering swag and I think that became most folks’ main focus to wanting to join vendor evangelist communties. Don’t want to assume; and not wholistically for sure, but just a guess.

I had a discussion on this topic on Twitter a few yrs ago with someone; how I thought it would be better for folks to have that ‘do it for the knowledge-sharing’ focus as @MicoolPaul stated, rather than the ‘material’ (swag & accolades). He disagreed, but that’s ok. I think internal fulfillment is better & more ‘eternal’. Anyway, good reflection.

> I was honest, I’m a little of both as well @Geoff Burke 

I think the focus shouldn’t be on why you are engaging because, if you do not love what you do, you will never have the zeal to engage. And while engaging, these are just add-ons for your work. Because, without them, you will still engage. 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

If I was honest, I’m a little of both as well @Geoff Burke . I can honestly say I started interacting with VMware/Veeam communities because I love doing so and really enjoy getting to know tech colleagues. I did this the 1st few yrs of my vExpert years. No swag was involved, minus VMW licensing...& early on, even those weren’t being disseminated. It was purely for the “joy” of lab’ing on and promoting a fun, new tech → virtualization. Then vendors started offering swag and I think that became most folks’ main focus to wanting to join vendor evangelist communties. Don’t want to assume; and not wholistically for sure, but just a guess.

I had a discussion on this topic on Twitter a few yrs ago with someone; how I thought it would be better for folks to have that ‘do it for the knowledge-sharing’ focus as @MicoolPaul stated, rather than the ‘material’ (swag & accolades). He disagreed, but that’s ok. I think internal fulfillment is better & more ‘eternal’. Anyway, good reflection.

@coolsport00 yes I have talked to @MicoolPaul about his swag addiction :). I said “just say no”. I know from personal experience, “Hi I am Geoff, I am a swagaholic!” It was that first free t-shirt at VeeamON 2015 in Las Vegas, then the bouncy balls that changed colour, it went further downhill when I was exposed to an assortment of pens, notepads and the final straw was the never ending stream of backpacks. I knew I needed help when I realized that I no longer own a pair of non IT socks!!! Even now as I speak I am wearing a Vmware shirt, Legend cap, vanguard hoodie …… there is no hope and in the weeks to come I will be face to face with my old foe… I had better bring an extra empty suitcase!

Userlevel 7
Badge +17

@Geoff Burke ...I will indeed be wearing both my Legends & Vanguards polos and socks next wk myself, so who am I to talk?? 😂🤣

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

@Geoff Burke ...I will indeed be wearing both my Legends & Vanguards polos and socks next wk myself, so who am I to talk?? 😂🤣

These companies know our weak spots :)

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Thanks for the post @Geoff Burke It’s a great reminder. Check our egos when we check our bags on the way to VeeamON 😎?

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Being humble should always be #1, however, you can be humble, and still be proud of your accomplishments.

 

I am always proud of what I have accomplished, but no matter what it is, there is always room for improvement. 

 

As someone who drives themselves pretty hard, I used to have the opposite issue. If my band played a gig and someone would complement me, I’d usually find the flaws in my performance and be quite negative on myself..  Learning how to say thank you and take a complement is important as is being humble and leaving your ego at the door.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Thanks for the post @Geoff Burke It’s a great reminder. Check our egos when we check our bags on the way to VeeamON 😎?

What if I am not going to VeeamON? 

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

This post was not written for the Veeam 100 group just a note. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +21

Thanks for the post @Geoff Burke It’s a great reminder. Check our egos when we check our bags on the way to VeeamON 😎?

What if I am not going to VeeamON? 

I am sure you will be there.  😋

Userlevel 7
Badge +22

Thanks for the post @Geoff Burke It’s a great reminder. Check our egos when we check our bags on the way to VeeamON 😎?

What if I am not going to VeeamON? 

I am sure you will be there.  😋

:) yeah I just don’t want the folks that can’t go to feel bad. I myself have been hyping it like crazy and then I thought about how I would feel if I could not go.  Plus to be fair this was a self reflective post not aimed at anyone. I found myself getting a big head about Kubehuddle this week, luckily at my age all I need to do is look in the mirror and my ego is instantly tamed :) 

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