A lesson in change

This week is a big week for me. We are moving house, have said goodbye to builders who have been preparing our new place and are expecting our second child in less than two weeks. All the things you’re told not to do together, we’re doing them.

This has led me to reflect on resilience and leadership. With a heavily pregnant wife much of the heavy lifting (literal and metaphoric) has fallen to me. At times I haven’t held up as robustly as I would like to think I would be able to.

Handling a changing landscape

With competing pressures, shifting timelines, a very set deadline (the removal team arrive on Thursday) and the world about to turn upside down with a new child, I’ve realised that the leadership role ascribed to me through this process is not one I’ve hugely enjoyed. Why? Well it turns out I don’t like change. And I don’t believe that many of us really do.

Leaders always have to confront change and while I can handle a degree of professional ambiguity, I don’t much like it. How then, can I arm myself to handle a (domestic and professional) “VUCA” landscape more effectively?

Don’t forget to breathe

The only way I know is to keep breathing. It sounds ridiculous but it’s so fundamental. My professional work as an actor and a coach knows this; my understanding of mindfulness knows this. I’m also very good at teaching other people to do it, but I regularly forget to take a dose of my own medicine.

If I forget, and it forms a central part of my professional training and practice, how unaware are many of us be who don’t have it as part of our professional daily lives (and by breathing I don’t mean the simple act of staying alive but something more conscious and aware)?

If we can’t take the time to clear out the detritus that clutters our view of what really matters, we can lose sight of the goal we are working towards. I nearly lost sight of the new home we are creating for our family because of all the uncertain elements that make it happen.

This has been a real lesson in stepping back, taking time and remembering to breathe. It has reminded me that professionally and personally it’s fundamentally important to create space. Only then can we achieve the perspective we need on what we’re working towards.

A lesson from my personal life to take into my professional one.


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