I was tired on Friday. I was driving home…missing my wife, missing my family and missing my sleep. I still had work to do; a business meeting over lunch with old (and new) friends; an evening partner leadership teleconference. I worked hard to concentrate on the road as I drove.
Last week was a week like no other. But in many ways last week was identical to every other week. I came to work each day. I met colleagues. I spoke with partners. I met more colleagues. I received and sent many more emails than I normally do. I missed my wife, my family and my sleep.
My week started with briefing meetings late on Sunday – more precisely it was very early on Monday. Big news requires different routines. Anything to do with corporate acquisition or takeover is incredibly regulated. Big news is kept confidential until the last minute. Everyone has to be communicated to at the same time – internally and externally.
My calls finished around 3:00am UK Monday. I had to get some sleep before the actual morning. My mind was racing. My 6:30am alarm came around very quickly. My mind was still racing. I called my wife when I woke. I had to talk…even in general terms. I needed her to tell me we would be OK. I knew that of course. I needed to hear it.
Monday was amazing. A blur. Exciting & energising. Adrenaline and caffeine. Checking emotions…my own and everyone else’s. Listening to everything. Reading everything. When change happens information is essential. I like to read, hear and see as much as I can. I pass on anything and everything I receive. Change is not the time to hoard information.
We all crave certainty. We can handle good news or even bad news. It is uncertainty we struggle with. No matter how much experience we have, and what we say. Uncertainty is a challenge. And yet change always comes with uncertainty. By definition. We never know for sure how things will play out – how can we? But yet we still seek certainty. It’s far too easy for us to worry about what we don’t know.
Our work is certain. The people we work with and the people we do work for – they are relying on us to be there for them. To meet our commitments. To achieve our goals. It is not necessarily easy…but it is absolutely true. And this is something we can control, influence, and succeed in.
My family is certain. They are unconditional. My friends are certain. Friends at work. Friends at home. Friends who reach out to chat. Who tell me they are there for me.
When change comes I keep my routines. I don’t give up my exercise time for email. I always have lunch. I talk to my family and my friends all the time. I focus on essential activities. Sleep is an issue. But only if I don’t get enough! I had to try to catch up from Sunday night. It can be tempting to keep going longer. I know it doesn’t work. Or help.
Personal calm can be elusive at the best of times. Personal calm is so valuable in changing times. By definition I can control how I feel. That’s why it’s called personal calm. The opposite helps no-one – personal panic? I don’t think so.
We do great, valuable and important work. We do that work together and we do that work with partners. We rely on and we support each other. We deliver as one. We succeed as one.
I am with my wife and my family. I still miss my sleep