A couple of weeks ago, I stepped out of my Saturday visit to a local fair to take a business call. It didn’t last long, but there was a problem to listen to, alternatives to discuss, a decision to make. I don’t recall anything other than concentrating on the person visualizing the issue, and negotiating a solution. But the body language was wholly different: in photos taken during the call, I look intense, old, angry, stressed.
But, more broadly, I need to acknowledge that the past two months, indeed the past two years, have not been easy. I’ve made some very positive changes and have embraces wonderful people. Alongside, though, there have been intense periods of sacrifice, stress, and loss.
Do you consider the immediate past to have been a success or a failure? So began a debate with other CEOs at a dinner party two weeks ago. “Success: I’ve made mistake, but I acknowledged them, learned from them, and achieved what we needed to. Often ugly, but we won, every time. “
Still, I feel the weight of the mistakes, the unnecessary risks and diversions, and it feels like failure sometimes. Doing My Best is not acceptable if I’m out of my depth.
One example we all discussed was how we learned the difference between yeast and baking soda.
When making bread, if you forget the baking soda, you can always add it at the end. If you forget to add yeast at the right time, however, the recipe will fail. Recognizing and getting the critical steps right, the yeast in business and relationships, is vital.
How will the next ten years be different from the last ten years? I acknowledged with my counselor that the challenges were largely met, now. Knotty problems have been solved, ruminative questions are answered, resources have started flowing back.
Arguably, then, life is finally turning a corner. So what will you do next? Fix the past, or build the future?
Go on Holiday.
My old inclination would have been to use the time to take stock, giving thought to my long term goals and short-term situation. How should my job, my residence, my balans en grenzen change? It may be time to change my work role, consolidate belongings in one apartment, update the web site….
Stop! warned the people who know me best. This is the time to do nothing. Take a reward and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Disconnect and take time with activities and people that matter most to you. Be kind to yourself, and heal. Feel what, who, where makes you happiest.
I‘ll take the advice.
I’m getting tasks delegated, contracts and planning finished. I’ve been shopping for a hat and sunglasses, subscribed to the Oyster library, and loaded KCLS books. I’ve skimmed the Lonely Planet guide to the Turquoise Coast and looked at the local sailing and historical activities. The camera (and the as-yet-unread User’s Manual) are ready.
And, in two weeks, I‘ll have a better photo to show than the ones taken two weeks ago.