Posted in Friday, Personal Observations, Sport

#Friday 21.0: PSG showed us the human disorder around buying success

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

Are we talking football (or soccer)

Football is merely the example to help drive my point. Don’t let it put you off.

Some context?

PSG – “Paris Saint-Germain” is a football club which doesn’t have a 100 year odd rich history in the game such as clubs you may akin to like Liverpool FC, Manchester United or Real Madrid, and it was never considered a superpower. Founded in 1970, it steadied it’s way within the French first division quite unnoticed.

So something changed?

In 2011 Qatar Sports Investments – or QSi – bought Paris Saint-Germain. QSi is subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – and that’s the state-run sovereign-wealth fund in Qatar. In a nutshell the Qatar group have quite a few billions in their wallet and their objective has been not only to win the French premier division every year, a feat which the team are achieving, but to also win the holy grail which is the European Champions League (ECL). Basically it’s a competition in which all the top 4 teams from each league compete, for pride and oodles of money. The owners were going to achieve this by buying the very best players (through offering lucrative contracts and lots of money), putting them in the team and hoping they’ll gel and work their magic. Has it worked? Hell No!

Yeah but Rome wasn’t built in a day

I get that. But that quote works well when you know the project is “work in progress” and there’s some vision around the club to a long term goal of sustainability. PSG have tried on numerous occasions to win the elite competition but have failed at the pinnacle moment, and when the tough got going, they wanted to turn and run the other way. On 9th March PSG played Real Madrid (Spanish team) in round two of the ECL. PSG were 1-0 up from the first match and in this return leg, scored another to lead 2-0 and looked like coasting to victory. Then in the 60th minute the PSG goalkeeper had a I’m bored so I’ll try a trick or two moment, fluffed his lines and conceded what looked like the most unlikeliest of goals. Fast forward 15 minutes and Real Madrid capitalised on some real nervous, slow reacting and I can’t be bothered because I’m too big for my boots attitude to score two more goals, win the game 3-1 and progress through to the QF’s.

..And this showed us?

When the owners brought the club in 2011 two words probably came to their mind – World Domination. They brought players offering the paradise of high wages, as opposed to investing in youth players. Those players, with their inflated wages came with inflated ego’s…ego’s so big that no manager has managed to control it. Those players, along with the short term vision of the club has created an environment where the very human characteristics of passion, desire, team work, courage and pride have been packed and locked away in the boot room. The owners haven’t been able to buy success but have hit the lowest point in the clubs history. You can’t buy what you think is the best, assemble it and see if it glues. PSG have become an example of that human condition where we want instant success, instant everything, like the noodles….but we all know what they taste like.

Posted in Personal Observations, Quote

Pause for Friday thought

Ask them not what they are like in public. But more so when no one is watching.

Posted in Personal Observations

Be A Good Gardener of Life

Life is like a garden,

And you the gardener,

Careful what you plant,

For you reap what you sow.

It’s been a while….so the first few lines that popped into my head.
Featured image from CBN.com

Posted in Film, Friday, Personal Observations

#Friday 20.0: Netflix Movies: Turbans and Profanity

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

I spotted lots of Turbans

I recall watching the movie Inside Man a very long time ago, a film that I have watched many times over. But what added more delight for me was spotting a Turbaned Sikh appearing in the movie. That man was actor and producer Waris Ahluwalia. Here is a scene from the movie. I can’t explain the delight whenever I see a Turbaned Sikh on screen. It’s a joy many immigrants must have experienced in Britain whenever a Turban wearing Sikh was seen on television (which wasn’t very often).

Over the weekend we were flicking through Netflix and came across an old movie called The Terminal. I’d seen most Tom Hanks movies so not sure how this one escaped me, but I’d heard it was a good family movie. So we all made a movie night of this one. I won’t spoil it, but highly recommend this one if you haven’t seen it. By the end of the movie, not only were we glad for the main character in the film but overjoyed that we may just have spotted the most amount of turbaned Sikhs in the movie. If I wasn’t mistaken, we counted 7. That’s the most I’ve seen in a Hollywood movie…see the film…was I right?

Tom Hanks masterful as ever

AK vs AK

So another Netflix movie session, how else do we fill the time during Tier 4 restrictions here in the UK. This time we come across the following movie:

This Bollywood movie follows the spat between director AK and movie star Anil Kapoor. In the film the disgruntled director kidnaps Anil’s daughter and then follows him with LIVE camera as Anil frantically tries to find his daughter. On concept I’d give the film 7/10 but that drops sharply because of the amount of swearing in the movie. As the movie goes on, profanity such f***(+ er) and m*****f***** become common place – it’s overload. I had a similar complaint when Sacred Games was released on Netflix a few years ago, the use of profanity was excessive. Come on AK, just because it’s Netflix, you don’t have to swear!

Have a safe and healthy 2021 peeps

Posted in Friday, Personal Observations, Work

#Friday 19.0: Signs that work is overwhelming you

Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.

Different jobs, same triggers?

My official job title is Project Manager and it’s a field I’ve been in for over 18 years. In the last few years the intensity of my projects has increased i.e. more high profile, difficult clients and contracts filled with penalties for missed obligations. Every so often I’ll pick up a project and those initial months of setup riddle me with dread; it happens every time. It’s an overwhelming feeling which, over time does go away. It’s a mixture of re-building your confidence each time and not trying to take it personally..

In a recent project I’ve been experiencing the same feelings regardless of the wealth of knowledge I have accumulated. You may, in your industry suffer from the same triggers of being overwhelmed.

Lack of focus on conversations at home start etching their way into your dialog. I can hear the voice coming in my direction but it’s being blocked. Noise that’s blocking those conversations is my mind preoccupied with something about work. STOP! Identify what actually is creating that noise and openly talk to a work colleague or your manager. It may be that you are overloaded or think you can’t cope with the new challenge.

You’re not able to pull away from the laptop and find yourself engrossed while trying to half listen to the conversation. If that happens, stop typing! No one wants to talk to half an eyeball. A tunnel vision approach will only block out those at home and bubble up frustrations.

Clock watching while having lunch because you feel every minute lost munching is time lost not working on something. Food is fuel for the mind and body and you must take time out. My approach has always been to block out lunchtime in my diary as a private appointment. Appreciate this will be different for everyone depending on the job they do. But remember, lunch is a given right which for some reason we are too inclined to give up.

You are smiling less around the house because you can’t get a work problem out of your mind. Or you are already thinking about the possible repercussions of things failing and what the fallout is going to look like. I think my kids and wife have noticed I have not been chirpy recently, and that’s a personality trait I definitely don’t want to transition into. Take a positive approach and try not worrying about what may or may not happen. Something my manager told me the other day – people say you are judged on your last project and performance. Bullshit! Think of it as “what did I learn from that last piece of work”. If things begin to tumble, it’s not the end of the world, this stupid virus hasn’t ended it so what is work in comparison!

If you still can’t wipe the blues, time for a change

Recently my sister and I had a similar conversation about work and the constant pressures. While I have enjoyed the last 18 years in this industry, I can’t see myself signing out with it. I do personally feel a change is on the horizon, career change for that matter. There will definitely be financial ramifications but one must balance the choice between income and sanity.

Stay safe, stay healthy