A tough Week, or was it?

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Sat on the train home I’m reflecting on what has – at the same time – been a really positive and really tough week.

Whilst the wider world seems to be in a deepening spiral of divisiveness and a seeming increasing tendency to accept that ignorance of societal and cultural norms is itself becoming the “new norm”, life and business goes on.

This week saw the culmination of two events that impacted me in different ways. This week was the funeral of one of our associates who left us far too early through cancer. As a small team, whilst we don’t see each other often or even work together frequently, we are indeed a family and Paul’s loss affected us all. The impetus for us all to meet up for dinner in a couple of weeks for no other reason than “we can” is a reflex reaction but a positive one nevertheless. We will lift a glass to our friend.

It’s also coincidentally the anniversary of 9/11, that, whilst occurring far away - and in an increasingly “foreign” land - is the one global event in recent history that has had a significant personal impact on me, no more powerfully than when I visited the 9/11 memorial a few years ago.

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Why do I mention these two events and the wider political/cultural maelstrom we now exist in? What has any of that got to do with a professional community such as LinkedIn you may rightly ask?

My reflection on these events in the context of what has – otherwise - been a very good week professionally, is that reminder that we all need to live for now. Life is always too short, and we should all make that extra effort to make the most of it – personally and professionally. We need to enjoy what we do to the best of our ability.

So what? We all need to be able to take that step back from the daily routine or daily chaos and reflect on what we value – professionally and personally. For me, this means working smarter and better to engender positive leadership values, ethos and approaches. I’m extremely fortunate to be part of a team that truly believes in the values we set, we aren’t all (and I haven’t always been) fortunate enough to operate in that environment.

Challenge yourself to improve one and remove the other. That requires a level of humility, vulnerability and self-reflection.

My challenge to all leaders, managers, executives, team leaders, supervisors, team members and any other title you can think of is to take some time to reflect on what you do that adds value to the lives of those you work (or live with.. but this is primarily a professional community) with and what you do that detracts from those around you.

Challenge yourself to improve one and remove the other. That requires a level of humility, vulnerability and self-reflection that is actually sign of a strong leader, and not a sign of weakness.

Life is too important to be negative, to be divisive, to be unsupportive, to power play. There’s room for all types of thinking and doing and by all those varied types and styles working together instead of against each other we can actually do greater things.

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Finally, building on the 9/11 anniversary and my other great passionate “soap box”, the humility and vulnerability in leadership mentioned earlier, I made the “mistake” of looking up the hashtag #wherewereyou on twitter. However, you feel about yourself this week, go have a read for 5 minutes and I guarantee you will feel humbled and a little vulnerable and I hope that in so doing you can reflect on what you can do to get more out of your life and the lives of those around you.

It was a tough week, but also a good one. Go home for the weekend safe… and well.

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