It was my last week before my vacation. Last week was hard work, good work and important work…but it was also my last week before vacation.
Most weeks are hard work. In one way shape or form. Sometimes it is more physical than mental – business travel can be fun but it also just tires you out. Other times it is more that so much happens around and about you…situations, issue and opportunities that you simply have to engage in, understand and try to help.
Good and important are – in part – judged in the eye of the beholder. Me? I am just happy to accept that most of us spend most of our time working mostly on situations that are good for us to be involved in on, and important for us to invest time on.
The week before my vacation…the week before any of us go on vacation…has an extra dimension. I always feel I have to work that bit harder because no matter how hard I try…my mind wanders. I find myself thinking about what I am going to do in a few days’ time rather than what I have to do today. I know that if I don’t work that bit harder on the ‘here and now’ then my efforts won’t be that good…and important won’t get done.
Last week had an extra dimension…I had a face-to-face meeting of my leadership team in the US Mid-West. My F2F meetings always involve hard work, good work and important work…or at least I would like to think they do. They also involve fun and laughter…or at least I hope they do. We all work better when we get enjoyment and satisfaction out of what we do, who we are doing it with…or ideally both.
I always feel an added burden with these meetings. An enlarged group of colleagues are investing their time to come and work with me. I feel an added responsibility….responsibility to make that time worthwhile for them all – individually and collectively – and to make that time valuable to us all and to our partners.
So no pressure then.
Good news is that I am always confident there will always be moments for me in these meetings. I know these moments will come but I don’t know when…or what they will be. Moments when an idea or a solution or an opportunity appears. Moments that would not have appeared any other way than because of those people at that time…
The meetings involve a group of diverse, experienced, engaged and passionate people. A collective who want to see where we are and what is happening around us; who want to be able to describe what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve; who want to be inspired by our work – by our opportunity – and who want to be able to inspire others. A team.
And sure enough those moments did appear. I recognise them every time. A comment, suggestion or idea that immediately resonates – often echoes – in the room. The person making the suggestion momentarily looks surprised and then instantaneously delighted. In their mind they just said something. It is only everyone else’s response – the energy their contribution generates – that lets the initiator see and recognise and experience their moment.
And moment that needs no action minutes. A true moment generates a life of its own. Everyone who was there wants to make it real. Make it happen. Everyone owns it.
On way to my vacation I found myself tired from the team’s hard work, inspired by their work quality and excited by the importance of our work.