I was in the great state of Texas last week. Great in many senses. Great people. Great trucks. Great scenery. Great size. Great lack of hills. Great hospitality. Many great sights. One great site.
I stayed in two cities – one very large where I was attending a major conference…one much smaller where I was visiting a major facility. I met many friends and colleagues – new and old friends…new and old colleagues – in both cities. Working around my jetlag, I drank a lot of coffee and water all day. I ate too much at the wrong time of day most days. I slept too little at the right time of (Texas) night time. And worked hard to stay alert at the right time of (Texas) day time.
I listened a great deal. I learned an enormous amount. I discussed many things. Some discussions were straightforward and engaging. Others were complex and complicated. It was a standard US travel week…but it was a great week.
Ours is a very good company made exceptional by the people who work there. Yours is a very good company made exceptional by the people who work there. Any Company. Any Conference. Any Site. Any State. Can work…it’s the people who make a difference.
The highlight of my week was the team I met on my last day in Texas – Thursday. They inspired me and engaged me. To a person they are passionate and committed. They care and they believe. I left enthused, excited and energised.
The hardest part of my week was Thursday afternoon – sitting at a Texan international airport with two hours before my connection home to the UK. I knew I had two hours connection…but I also knew I had three hours of work I need to complete before I flew. Two hours where I knew my morning-induced energy would rapidly dissipate. Two hours in which I knew I had to stay focussed on what I had to do…rather than on where I wanted to be or who I would rather be with.
These moments are partly physical fatigue but in main they are mental fatigue. They happen to us all of course – they are neither jet lag nor travel specific…they are simply hard work related. Every emotion is telling you to relax, kick back, enjoy. Every logic and thought has to be to focus, lean in, apply.
In my case on Thursday in Texas – I needed a quiet space. I didn’t need any more distractions and I knew I was going to call people and didn’t want to worry about anyone overhearing. Quiet space in an airport is an oxymoron. I did the best I could…aided by headphones, my back to a corner, and effective positioning of my suitcase and suit carrier.
I did what I had to do in those two hours. I didn’t manage everything I needed to do…but I delivered what was essential. My favoured source of caffeine was nearby which helped. Other than that regular fix I stayed still and stayed focussed. Focussed on what I had to do not what I wanted to do.
I completed files and sent emails. I made calls and texted messages. I don’t think I made any mistakes…maybe everyone was just being nice. I missed one call – I know that team did a great job without me.
I boarded my flight. Sat down and settled in. I kicked back…looking forward to enjoying a film and food on the flight. I allowed myself to relax. Next thing I knew I woke up as we were landing in London.
I felt good. A little confused. Nicely refreshed. Very hungry