Day 31

Day 31

I walked to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and the Cenotaph at the front which felt right on Anzac Day. There were three or four wreaths laid, one by the Museum and another the Mayor of Auckland. For Anzac Day it was extraordinarily quiet, but a few people were milling around, reflecting.  A father and son were flying a kite which looked like the flag of Thailand, although on closer inspection, the father was doing it all.

The Domain – Pukekawa – is Auckland’s oldest park and consists of 75 hectares and includes the Museum and Cenotaph, Wintergarden, Cricket Pavilion, Duck Ponds replete with Auckland Acclimatisation Society plaque. These are the societies we can thank for ferrets, weasels and rabbits being formally introduced into New Zealand. Pukekawa is one of the oldest Volcanoes in the Volcanic field, at 100,000 years old. It was fresh – almost Spring-like today – and it made for a very good walking loop with a slightly sore leg still.

anzac
Auckland War Memorial Museum and Cenotaph on ANZAC Day 2020

On the second part of my walk, up Mt Hobson, I had a chat to Dad who said he’d stood at the letterbox at 6am, heard the Last Post loud and clear and was now preparing a photo montage for Mum’s birthday. Mum has jokingly said that they’re going to their favourite restaurant, but it’ll just be the two of them and Dad reckons the special crockery is coming out!

This is our last weekend in Lockdown Level 4 and the traffic has already started building, somehow in anticipation of Level 3 on Tuesday. That will be a big step back to the new norm, as many more workers can restart and construction can recommence. It’s got to be an ideal time to advance all the projects in Auckland CBD, with minimal traffic and pedestrians to deal with.

It’s occurred to me today that the reality of working from home for me is probably several more months. The logistics of social distancing in a high rise with elevators is going to make it really challenging. So I’m gearing up for the long haul. Part of that will be finding new television series to keep this routine going!

Jerry Seinfeld has a new series starting in May, although I’m not sure if that is NZ – 23 Hours to Kill and it seems to derive inspiration from James Bond. All my best things all in one show!  In a 2017 HBR interview Seinfeld was asked if humour was effective as a leadership tool: “Being funny is one of the ultimate weapons a person can have in human society. It might even compete with being really good-looking.

Humour has a really important role in leadership. Some people mistake humour as hiding or a cover for something. It can be, but it’s actually really serious business. You can’t be anxious and laugh at the same time, and it’s a great way to break conflict. And a lot of what goes on in business is funny. Even the Elevator rules (well the old ones) – face the door, stare at your phone, don’t talk. But I better stop there – that’s for another day as to write some truths about the things I think are funny in business this late at night, is something I might regret!

Happy Birthday Mum, the ‘rona kept me away.

Stephen

Day 16

Day 16

It was another gorgeous day today in Auckland so perhaps my welcoming of Winter was a bit premature. I had my 119th and 120th walks of the year today. Up Maungawhau (Mt Eden) that sits proudly watching over Tāmaki Makaurau. It’s the highest Maunga (mountain) in Auckland’s monogenetic volcanic range on the mainland. Each volcano erupts only once, as compared to polygenetic volcanoes, such as Whakaari White Island, or Mt Ruapehu.  The most recent one to erupt was Rangitoto Island, 550 years ago and it’s also the tallest.

The Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority is the statutory authority which co-governs fourteen of Auckland’s fifty-three Maunga with Auckland Council. Of those fourteen, in addition to Maungawhau, Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill), Ōhinerau (Mount Hobson), and Te Kōpuke / Tītīkōpuke (Mount St John) are within easy striking distance for walking during the Lockdown. Maungakiekie adjoins Cornwall Park, and is essentially one large park. Mount Hobson is very close to me and I often attend our weekly Consulting all-partner morning calls striking it up to the top, hoping that when I need to speak I’m actually at the top and not pacing it out upwards!

I feel very blessed to live amongst such beautiful form in the city, which has meaningful history and is ideal for walking for fitness. The variations in route, views, typography on any one walk are almost endless.

It really did feel like the city had cleaned out and gone to the beach for Easter. I think a few may have, but some got turned back – STAY HOME! – and no doubt reminded that it’s a staycation this weekend.

It’s still a great opportunity to do some cleaning out I reckon. Little projects that you can do at home in the garden or the house to clean out stuff you don’t need. Face it, we have too much. Clean some stuff off your mental or actual to do list too. Create a project list*. and if something doesn’t make it, it’s never going to be a thing. Maybe that physical photo album is not really a thing. Forget it, it’s clutter in your mind holding onto it and then clutter 30 minutes after it’s created.

I got cleaned out of someone else’s 2020 plans. Plans for a project were ended with “I’m bowing out“, without explanation. But I respect that. We’ve all got our own stuff going on and to clean out is refreshing for the mind, when needed. No-one wants to continue with something, when you’re only half-hearted, or something doesn’t feel right. But it was slightly jarring nonetheless. Not my call but you have to move forward for the next opportunity.

Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill

So a big question for Auckland will be when the next eruption might be.  When will the volcanic bed get cleaned out? The eruptions have generally been thousands of years apart, and scientists’ best estimate will be that the next one is off the coast near St Heliers, near Browns Island. LEAVE HOME! will be catch cry you would assume when that happens.

Almost forgot COVID-19. It’s still a thing alright, you can see that everywhere you go – which isn’t far – but we need to be patient.

Cleaning out and patience. Excellent leadership traits to practice during a long weekend confined to home. Patience is underused.

Stephen

*I’m reading Getting Things Done at the moment.