If you’re like me you get your energy as the deadline approaches. Creativity kicks in and you do your best work under pressure. Every leadership programme or workshop I facilitate has people just like me in this respect. They are quite proud of what they can do in a short time frame and how much spare time they have for other things.
Dig a little deeper and most late starters have a level of stress that they know they could do without. Meeting work and other’s deadlines, finding no contingency time.
I (and others) try and trick me into leaving with enough time for appointments by putting in fake early starting times. It seldom works as I know. The other day I had a medical appointment. I arrived 15 minutes early thinking good, the fake entry worked. Turned out I was 45 minutes early as I’d faked my own fake time! So I settled into do some work and ten minutes later was called and was all done and out in another 10 minutes.
It was a surprisingly refreshing experience for me. There’s a good chance you’ll be thinking that this is normal. True for many people, but not for everyone.
You see them running into meetings late, functions at the last moment, joking at personal appointments about the traffic and so on.
If you get your energy and creativity from the deadline, I reckon hold on to that but look over the fence and for everything else find some calm and order in early arriving and getting started when you, deep down, know you should!
For an entertaining but ultimately very serious version of my epiphany try this Ted Talk. Even if you don’t think this is you, watch right to the end – it might be!
There’s a lot going on at work right now. Probably too much and I’m sure the team agrees.
So when I booked an afternoon in another city to work and connect with others it seemed a good idea, but not so good this morning.
Nowadays a lot of work can be done anywhere – have laptop and phone – location matters less and less (more on this another day).
After a conference call which sounded like an echo chamber in the airport lounge, I was off. The man next to me was reading the flight manual for the Boeing 777. Maybe he should have had the aisle seat.
The air was crisp and the sky blue on arrival. Bluer (is that a word?) than home. It felt quite productive for me although I may have fired off one or two many emails with ideas, thoughts and instructions.
Then some conversations. Different conversations giving me a different lens on issues and challenges.
When I boarded I realised I had just slightly more perspective than yesterday. A different place, different views on a vexing issue, and some introverted thinking time. I needed that. You might too.
The final session of the Authentic Leadership Programme was a round of words. What word will finish the Programme for you we asked.
I didn’t capture all the words but most of them. Whether I can make a blog out of them remains to be seen but I thought it would be good to share a very powerful session.
Cheating in Cricket wasn’t known about at the session, but Ethical Compass and Legacy have startling relevance right now. Not just in sport leadership but in our behaviours as leaders in the work place.
When the team is under pressure, our strategies for Resilience pre-prepared will need to come into play, as will our Humanity and, well just being the best Human we can be. For me, there are times that the key strategy is Grit. A vital attribute for any leader.
That doesn’t mean losing sight of our Emotional Intelligence recognising that tough times can lead to the best Learning.
Leaders need to be Confident with their Authenticity, show Vision, Empowerment and ask “What’s Next?“.
I got there!
ps there’s about 5 more words from the session which I can add in if I get them
It’s a stunning landscape, a farm, wilderness, mountains, gorges, pylons and plains. No one lives there aside from the DOC Officers and others managing the 180,000 hectare farm, New Zealand’s largest. The Pylons carry the inter-island high voltage power cables.
There’s no cellphone coverage and you’re on your own. Driving through this summer was exhilarating and a far cry from the sealed expressways and highways.
Getting away and refreshing during a break takes many forms and each of us has a special place, time or experience that on occasion give us the means to see life with a different perspective. Sometimes it’s a slow burn – a fortnight at the beach – or an overseas holiday in a different culture. Other times it can be a short sharp contrast in an environment that is truly awesome.
Like Molesworth. A new perspective for a new year.
But be careful you don’t get a puncture, although that’s another story for another day!
Happy new year.
ps we’re running a session at PwC “Managing Stress and In the Grip Behaviours with MBTI” on 11 April in Wellington and 18 April in Auckland.
The end of the year is close. Feels like it can’t happen soon enough. I’m getting tired and I think lots of us are. A long winter, work pressures and lots going on including for me a house on the market (can’t skip making the bed!).
We had a taster on resilience at work recently. Physical health, mindfulness and seeking help were some of the key messages.
Coming home this evening a sudden shower on the bike. By the time I got to the Waterview Tunnels I was quite wet, although it was warm. The tunnel was a respite from the rain. 2.8km of dry, I imagined I was on the Autostrada in northern Italy (although I wasn’t riding quite fast enough!) driving from Avignon to Florence – tunnel after tunnel.
Mindfulness is a valuable practice. It can help us to manage anxiety, achieve tasks and lead to a greater sense of worth and contentment.
Add a bit of “Golden Age thinking” to your repertoire I reckon. A kind of mindfulness about pleasant experiences in the past.
The moments in the tunnel on the Autostrada led me to a walk after the rain – reminiscing about Paris and my favourite film, Midnight in Paris.
Didn’t feel so tired afterwards.