This was my fourth Christmas living in the US and more remarkably, it was the first time in thirty years I haven’t returned to Ireland for Christmas. Having traveled a lot over 2016, I decided that I would spend it at home and enjoy the festive period, American style. This last week has given me time to reflect on what was an incredible year for me personally and for CompTIA.
As always, the year started out with a little anxiety over the challenges ahead, will we achieve our goals? How would our new A+ launch affect our business?
There were many hurdles ahead of us but we needn’t have worried. 2016 turned out to be one of the best years ever at CompTIA and probably one of my proudest career periods of time.
There have been many new initiatives launched in 2016, which will give us a tremendous platform for the future.
If I could rewind the clock and give myself some advice at the start of 2016, I would say, be comfortable being me, do the basics well, stay in the moment, remain focused on the bigger picture and our strategy. And most importantly…Always, always have fun and enjoy it!
The success I enjoy at CompTIA has everything to do with my team. They are an incredible bunch, the best Sales, Product Management and Sales Ops people in the certification and education business.
We get together as a full team twice a year, usually at our HQ just outside Chicago. This year we decided to mix it up a bit and took our summer meeting “international” to London. This gave us a great opportunity to get away as a (very large!) group, away from our normal environment and push ourselves beyond our comfort zones.
It was a tremendous success, giving us time to bond tighter as a team. As always we learned a lot from each other and came away with some great initiatives and strategies for the remainder of the year.
I travelled around the world twice in 2016 and enjoyed some very funny moments and some spectacular experiences. Our team cruise on the Thames, climbing the Great Wall, seeing The Acropolis in Athens, going to Tokyo Disneyland and visiting the Akshardham temple Ahmedabad were all places I was privileged to experience because of the fantastic role I have at CompTIA.
One of the nicest surprises in 2016 came while we were waiting to board a flight from Shanghai to Beijing. The fog had come down around the airport and all flights had either very long delays or were cancelled. After a busy week and a long day, it’s not the news you like to hear. However, all that changed when our flight was the only flight to leave the airport that evening and on time.
We believed this good fortune was because Dennis Kwok was on board. Dennis is our VP for APAC and spends most of his life in airports or on a plane and is well known across Asia. However, it transpired that there was a very high profile Chinese politician on the same flight and there was no chance his flight was going to be delayed. Nice to have friends in high places although we still like to think Dennis was the reason!
Having played golf for over 10 years, 2016 was the first time I actually won a golf tournament. My team won the “Fall Member” tournament at my club, Cress Creek and I was particularly proud as I had selected the players. Although some did not know each other, we connected as a group and come out on top over the two days.
My wife, Fiona, Josie (our dog) and I moved into our new home on Cress Creek golf course, which was one of the highlights of the year for sure. Although the views across the course change depending on the time of the year, it is never anything other than peaceful, calming and revitalizing.
Josie is our first dog and having never owned a dog before, I was a little apprehensive. We adopted her from a shelter just over a year ago and I can say that she has had a massive impact on our lives. She is the most relaxed, funny and calming dog. She has added so much to our lives and only asks for love in return.
2016..thank you and a big thank you to all of the readers of my blog.