Seven years on

I visited the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial in January. It’s a reflective place. Full names on the wall with some couples’ names together. We visit a similar memorial in Auckland on the Authentic Leadership Programme. It’s dated and less impressive. But equally a reminder of those of us gone, unexpectedly. Reflective.

I re-read my thoughts at the time and three years ago today. A lot has changed in Christchurch especially in the last couple of years, and there’s a lot still to be done.

IMG_1514.jpgThose that lost loved ones will feel today very deeply. This includes quite a number of families from other countries. Their names were read out in a roll call today at the Memorial.

A moment of quiet reflection is apt today.

Stephen

 

 

It’s the weekend (nearly)

I’m back at the specialist at Milford this morning to complete my testing. I was already awake at 6.00am when Mum emailed to say they had another wake-up call in Canterbury this morning registering 5.1. People probably didn’t even need to check on-line, they’ve had so many they can tell the force instantly within two or three points. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers talks about 10,000 hours of experience to become truly expert at something. I wonder if 7,500 earthquakes in 10 months is getting close to qualifying for expert status. I have a sense that after this series of tests I’m going to become expert at something to do with my diet. It looks like I might be Fructose intolerant and this morning’s testing is about Lactose. The friendly man next to me is also on his third testing and we agreed that being intolerant to Lactose, living in dairy-loving NZ, wouldn’t be ideal. I’m tolerant to most things in life, except intolerance.

Sitting here for a morning is very productive and quite reflective too. I’ve one more week of a very intensive work period and I’m taking a few days off the following week to rebalance myself. So I have a sense of anticipation looking forward to some refresh time. Which is a a bit like the staff who have been arriving at the specialist rooms this morning with TGIF said in many different ways!

We like the weekend, or more particularly, we like some time away from our usual routine to recharge.  But if we’ve done the 10,000 hours there’s a good chance we’ve had more than our fair share of wake-up calls on the way through, but those experiences will have given us the resilience and experience to keep going. As we gain expertise in our area we also become more tolerant of those around us as it’s less about proving yourself, but rather enjoying the strength that comes from experience and, for leaders I hope, growing others.

So enjoy the weekend, make it a time to refresh and enjoy why we exist. To be happy. Monday will be work, but if it’s work you are passionate about, not only is that a happy place, it’s a chance to grow some more.

Stephen

Not our fault

A teenager died in the weekend after attending the King’s College Winter Ball. Much has and will be said about this tragedy, but three things said by leaders from King’s caught my eye: We can’t babysit the students 24 hours a day. True. We don’t need an inquiry to see how the Balls are run. Mmmm. They weren’t drunk and there were no drugs. Right.

A letter to the editor in one of the Sunday newspapers caught my eye too. The writer, a mother from Masterton, said that she didn’t try to be friends with her children when they were growing up, that she saw her parenting role to role-model behaviours that she wanted to instil into her children. Continue reading “Not our fault”

Stories we didn’t hear

We never heard their last moments and we didn’t even find their bodies, but the families and friends of nine people who perished in the Christchurch earthquake had their day in the coroner’s court last week. The chief coroner decided that they all died from multiple traumatic injuries and I guess some closure was brought to the families and others close to those that perished.

I just liked this photo that I took today!

They didn’t do anything special – they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time when the earth moved as it regularly does, especially in Christchurch at the moment.  Luck can be a good thing, but also a devastating thing and my thoughts are often with those that lost loved ones  in the 22 February earthquake.

Facilitating a day of storytelling workshops last week we heard some fantastic stories, from the heart. Disclosures of events long ago were made, as the group worked with each other and shared, and in the process grew. Storytelling has a practical application in developing and enhancing leadership. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing a story from years past, and the meaning that it now brings to the leader. Or so I thought. When I thought I’d uncovered all the depth that could be to discover from one participant, I asked (intending to work with how the same stories are told differently in different contexts) “So you’ve told this story before”. Answer “No, that was the first time”. Given the story, that was big and I reckon we had a very special session for all those present.

Luck can decide all sorts of things. Share your stories now. You’ll be giving a gift to everyone, including yourself. Luck put us on the planet. Don’t wait I say.

Stephen