Toronto, where I live, is abuzz with the admission by our Mayor that he smoked crack in one of his drunken stupors, and that further, he had lied when asked point blank a few months ago if he had done it.
Recently, I attended a luncheon where an assortment of sandwiches was served. Now typically, this presents a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes, to figure out what is in each sandwich, particularly if you have special dietary needs/preferences.
Most of us work too hard. I know I do. I love my work, I love my clients. I work hard to help them solve their problems – with ease, grace and joy. And some of their problems are really big, so it means much thought, research, diligence, collaboration, communication and planning on my part.
I attended a client’s weekly management meeting. It was such a joy to see the team embrace the strategy that I helped them develop a few months earlier, use it as the guiding light for their operations and make very focused decisions in a short period of time – all with laughter and much camaraderie.
With the best of intentions, management, processes and team members, things will go wrong. Yes, we will upset our customers sometimes. That’s a given. What’s not given is how we deal with it. I recently had an experience with the Toronto Transit Commission that reminded me of this.
A gunman walks into a school in Georgia with an AK47 and threatens to start killing people. 19 minutes later, the man has laid down his weapon and is lying on the floor asking why the Police are taking too long to come and get him. How did this happen?
Leaders are human, and as humans we sometimes lose our cool and get upset. We get upset with our team members, for them not doing something that we asked or expected them to do. We get upset with our suppliers and contractors for not delivering on time and/or to specifications.
“Work is only part of life. But work is life only when done in mindfulness. Otherwise, one becomes like the person who lives as though dead” – Thich Nhat Hanh
How mindful are you at work? To be mindful is to live in the present moment. That is hard enough to do on a meditation cushion, and the stillness of the morning or evening, much less in the cut and thrust of a busy workday.
In our quest for success, we sometimes find ourselves trading off perfection for timeliness. We submit the report a few days late in order to make it perfect. We dot every “I” and cross every “t” really make the report look perfect – but late.
For some months, I have been considering adding an additional member to my team, to support in administrative matters. One of his/her key duties would be filing. Filing is the Medusa’s head of office work – as soon as you file, more paper just piles up.