I was in the UK all last week. I had good days at work and I had bad days at work. Most weeks I have moments where events go very well and I feel good…and there are also times when things don’t go so well. Fortunately I don’t often have whole days that feel tough…and it is seldom the case where another day in that same week can feel overwhelmingly positive. But that was my week last week.
It was my wife’s birthday on Thursday. Thursday was a wonderful day – from start to end. I was able to arrange my schedule so that I could work from home – I travelled back very late Wednesday and returned early Friday. Although I had to work Thursday, at least I was there all day with my wife and our children. Birthdays are important. It was a day to remind myself about my family…a day just to be with them. A great day…
Wednesday was not a good day. One of those days it’s difficult to imagine being involved in when you start working. One of those days that if you experience once…you never want to experience again. But ours is an industry where change continues to happen – and an industry where many of the changes are in response to events over which we seldom feel we have much direct influence. Some say that makes change easier…or is it harder?
I have communicated big change in my career and I have had big change communicated to me. Neither are good experiences. Although both can feel bad, the experience and the feelings are different. Communicating change is a role – it has to be done and handled in the best way possible. Being on the receiving end of change communication feels personal…even when the messages are all about portfolio or business or industry. It can feel personal.
As I went to out to work on Wednesday I looked in the mirror. Not through vanity, or to count grey hairs. But more a figurative need…a need to be able to look myself in the mirror each day and feel confident I am doing my best.
I looked in the mirror again at the end of the day. This time there was more of a literal need. How did I look? Tired. As well as the figurative need. How did I feel? Stressed…depressed…impressed.
Stressed and depressed I could understand. Wednesday was that sort of a day. But impressed? Where did that come from? I knew I wasn’t impressed with myself. I hadn’t done anything to feel impressed about.
I was impressed with how everyone else had handled the day. And it wasn’t even just impressed. I was more in awe…inspired even. People are amazing. Our people are truly amazing.
Friday was a long day. Friday was our awards night in the Eu. More incredible stories of friendship, partnership and teamwork. Of dedication, and inspiration…of passion and compassion. More moments of great humour and great humility…of great pride and great pleasure. It was a special way to end a long week. I felt privileged to spend the evening in the company of so many of our so special people, their friends and their partners.
I drove home Saturday morning. The roads were quiet. Time to consider. And to wonder. The week was over. A chance to relax and reenergise. To think about tomorrow. To plan for next week. To look forward. To influence the future.
I made it home in good time. My wife met me at the door. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to say anything. She just hugged me. She knew.