I was communicated to last week. Much more communication than normal. More spoken. More emailed. More teleconferences. More instant messages. More individually. And more in groups. I thought more, listened more, and learned more.
But as I sit and consider, it seems as if much more of this week was about us and – for me – was about me. In the first two weeks since our big news announcement, most communication I experienced was information giving. Who the new company is. What they do. How they do it. What they stand for…believe in, care about…value. What they – and we – want and need, hope for and dream about, as we look to a new future.
Against that backdrop then, it makes sense that more of my time this week was internal. Our company and our people. Our partners and our work. My friends and my family. My team and my self.
I have been through a number of big changes during my career…in fact many more than I ever expected, predicted or wanted. The most amazing aspect of any big change is that those involved always come through it. In hindsight I know I have always come through change and I believe I found myself in a better place. And when I look around, I see others who say the same. It can be harder to evaluate of course, but that’s what they say. And that’s what I have experienced.
Because of big changes in companies I have worked for, I have found new friends, new science and new opportunities. And I have learned new things about myself. I would not go so far as to say that I would have chosen to instigate these changes…but when I look back…I have found change to be good.
As I have asked and listened this week, I have also observed and considered. It is never possible to truly assess how anyone else is doing – all we can do is compare what we see and hear to what we have previously seen and heard. But what I do know is that the most stressful aspect of my week was a close call at the end of the week with a reckless driver. My most exciting moment was the start of a global teleconference with more than 100 people waiting to be engaged. My most rewarding moment was an ingenious idea I heard one morning from a colleague. My most intriguing moment was a conversation with a new potential partner company. My most proud moment was my son receiving another university place offer.
All of which was a normal week. I didn’t need to be asked to stay focussed on my work – there is so much going on at work it just pulls us in. And despite so much change apparently going on, I continue to come to work each day and it looks and feels the same. My family haven’t changed. My apartment is still cold in the morning. My exercise bike is still calling my name. Yes there is change…but no, nothing seems to change.
But I do find myself think at times about how I am doing. How I am coping. Perhaps that is the only real difference. I don’t normally self-reflect (that much). I always tell myself I am doing well. I congratulate myself unconditionally. I reward myself with another coffee. I know I work harder. I explicitly look for opportunities and challenges to seize or solve. I find more colleagues to talk with and people to listen to. I listen more carefully…ask more open questions…praise more often…encourage more explicitly.
I find reasons to smile.