Virtuous cycle

Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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Lessons learned from Che

I’m sorry to admit, but as a side product of the Cuban trip I continue to find myself fascinated with Che’s life and undertakings.

As mentioned before, I found Cuban revolution interesting due to the notion in which a group determined individuals could turn the tables on a (seemingly) much stronger opponent (lesson of persistence).

Particularly inspiring are the following events from struggle in Cuba: almost a total initial defeat just after the expedition’s landing, continuous desertions of guerrilla fighters losing faith in the struggle or giving up to the hardships of life in the jungle, gradual build-up of critical mass due to a sequence of small victories – sometimes achieved in a very accidental manner – which nevertheless resonated within the society.

Having said this, success of the revolution and the fighting concept that it employed (focus on rural areas, no support from a strong political party, etc.) was determined by number of factors specific to Cuba, which revolution leaders could be ignorant of.

In the end Che paid with his life for this ignorance in Bolivia. He overestimated influence of his leadership and failed to appreciate Bolivian specifics in applying the template of Cuban revolution.

Conclusion: no success is possible without alignment with external factors, and since many of them are unknown ex ante – it all boils down to luck and intuition. On the other hand, no amount of luck in setting the initial course will substitute persistence in following it.

All this is more entertaining because through the diaries one can emphasize with Che’s evolution as an individual, from the motorcycle journey, through Cuba, to the Bolivian failure (even though unfortunately I don’t have the copy of Bolivian diaries yet).

SGH boy trajectory

Stanisław Kluza, new finance minister, graduated SGH 1995 (with position in “top ten” group):

Unilever 94-98, PLN 4k monthly

McKinsey 98-99, PLN 6k monthly

Fulbright scholarship, 99-00

BGZ, 02-03, economic advisor, PLN 7k monthly

BGZ, 03-06, chief economist, PLN 15k monthly

Assets PLN 9m.

Currently 34.

Source: Newsweek

More blogging friends

Przemek decided to give it a try:

I worked with Przemek in ConQuest Consulting. He is less masochistic than me, so he writes in Polish.

But still, I wish more will follow soon, I feel we are so far behind with the blogging thing.

New York encounters

To start with something profound, the best thing about the trip to the US were not the buildings and the museums, but rather the people that I had the opportunity to meet. From the very start I was planning to meet –


– right after I published the pictures I received complaint from him that he is nowhere to be seen. So I make up for this below.

New York, Jacek

I met Jacek when we were going to the same class in the high school – i.e. before I skipped the year and had a different class:) Jacek chose technical studies, then moved to the US to study some more, and then decided that he wants to work in business. It was long way, but now he works for Deloitte.

I was considering whether it would make sense at some point of time to work in the US. Jacek was pondering whether it made sense for him to go to the US, if guys working in Poland, like myself, seem to make out quite well and can even afford to come and hang around as tourists.

In the first hostel I was staying I met


She works during the day, then in the evening she is a hostess, then she works some more during the weekend. All this to pay for the studies in Amsterdam.

I was impressed with Justyna, maybe we will have a chance to meet in Poland.

And then, everywhere you can meet some friendly people, like

The Chinese shopkeeper

Every morning in NY I visited a shop next to the subway station to buy my breakfeast, namely three bananas and a can of coke. Then I discussed with the Chinese lady the plan for the day. My days in NY always had a good start thanks to her.

Not to mention…

…guys from Israel, Paolo from Portugal, the Navy veteran, African lady in the subway…


Yesterday it turned out that Karina, our Russian teacher, is also a chiromancy fan. Upon reading my palm she discovered that I have no heart line – that’s why I’m perfect consultant, heheh:)

Maybe I should get that restructuring job last year, after all.

She also concluded that I always do what I’m told. Manager I am working with vigorously disagreed.