Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Secret Poobahs

I saw this earlier at Kurt Cagle's blog and that is a nice compliment. I'm not an important person in the world of XML nor was I ever important in the world of SGML. And I am not an expert in 3D. Just a hacker. Think of me as a fair witness, but not a contributor, and like Marley, I will fade backward out a window that opens magically into a world of nothing.

So I'm not a hero but I've seen some. Like Jim Mason and Lynne Price, they take care of young people, they see to it things connect, and even in anonymity, wield incredible power over world events by working for those who share their values.

I've seen a lot of office politics, proven performers, up and comers and all the rest. They don't impress me. If you pick a target and shoot often, you hit something. Who cares? That is the question. Shared values are the keys to the suite of the secret poobahs who change the world.

So I ask you, what are your values and who do you share those with?

No matter what games you learn to play, your ultimate impact on the world will be determined by those values and who shares them. Some people want to run the place, and they can get what they want. Some people actually want to change the world and the rules for doing that are quite a bit different.

Winning is not owning.

You discover the closer you get to the top, the less real power you really have because you are too closely watched and the system is too sensitive to your every mood. When that happens, you have to spend so much time controlling yourself, you can control very little else. That isn't much of a victory, I'd say.

So you must always ask, qui bono? Who benefits? If it is just you, that is a very small kingdom. True power is knowing where the system is sensitive and thumping it just a little even at risk to your own career because if the values are right, the results will be right and in the long term, you will win.

Dare to do but do that for those who share your values. That is all you need to know.

For those of you who celebrate it, have a Happy Thanksgiving. For those of you who don't, have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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