Monthnotes – May 2022

Monthnotes – May 2022

The past month has felt like a transitional period in many ways, bringing with it the contrasting emotions that come with that.

At work the change from being multiple separate companies into a single integrated organisation has continued. Many people, including me, have been learning our way through what that means in practice as new teams continue to form and people develop new working relationships together.

It’s around a year since our integration journey began and I am finally starting to see the first phase of change as behind us. That’s not to say there’s not still lots to do to become the integrated organisation we are headed towards, but the change is now at the strongly formative stage.

The emergence of the new integrated organisation and greater clarity on roles means that the energy behind this work is coming from ever more people across the our teams, rather than a small group of change agents.

I’ve particularly enjoyed spending more time with colleagues who are working closely with our clients, learning more about the wide range of projects we now have the capability to deliver and seeing the real difference our teams make to clients, their communities and customers. Being just a little closer to the work has felt good, as getting too distant from clients and the value we create for them isn’t good in a professional services or agency business.

This month I recognised in myself some signs that the efforts of the last year were mounting up. I had an extended period where I was lacking in energy and enthusiasm, both for my work and in my home life too.

I’ve learnt that this is probably down to me pushing too hard for an extended period and it’s a sign that I need to enforce some healthier work boundaries and look after myself better. In the past week I’ve focussed on that and I think the extended Jubilee holiday will be a good opportunity to take some time out and reset.

It’s interesting to observe that as I’ve given myself a bit more space in each day, taking proper breaks and making sure my out-of-hours working is kept to sensible levels, I’ve begun to see the future more positively and regain excitement about what I do and how this might evolve in the future.

There’s definitely a lesson for me there that I need to remember, especially as I know I have a tendency to go “all-in” when it comes to work that I enjoy.

Away from work, I’ve enjoyed the better weather, getting out running ever longer distances and getting back on my bike too. My 50 mile ultra run in Snowdonia in September is approaching fast, so the running miles are really starting to ramp up at the weekends.

Our eldest son is taking his A-levels at the moment, which feels like the start of a months-long transition as he leaves school, takes a gap year and then starts university.

Both my wife and I are acutely aware of the transition that we have ahead – immense pride in the young man has become but also sadness as he leaves home on his travels. We’re also very conscious that our younger son will be experiencing a transition too and so we need to help support him through that.

And today is my 19th wedding anniversary too, so I need to acknowledge and thank my wife Jo for her her brilliant brilliant love, counsel, support and companionship. We are a great team and I know that I wouldn’t be able to lead the life I lead and achieve what I want to achieve without her by my side.

Music this month…

Music-wise this month I’ve been enjoying a lot of disco from the likes of Pete Le Freq, Barry & Gibbs, Mike and Tess and Barry Harris. Fave mix of the month was a live set from London’s Jet Boot Jack at Vivid People Disco in Hoxton last month.

Podcasts this month…

As my running miles have ramped up, so has my podcast listening. I’ve been making a deliberate effort to broaden my repertoire, seeking rather than avoiding perspectives that don’t sit comfortably with my view of the world. With that in mind, I particularly enjoyed listening to Stephen Bartlett talk with Piers Morgan on the Diary of a CEO podcast earlier this month.

Reading this month…

It’s been a light month on the reading front. Lack of time and then falling asleep when trying to read in bed has meant I’ve been making my way through High Performance: Lessons from the Best on Becoming Your Best by Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes. I’ve enjoyed the High Performance podcast a lot, although at times more recently there are times when I’ve felt there could have been a bit more grit and challenge in the conversations. So far the book is a good summary of familiar podcast content, so it’ll be interesting to see if there’s much added value in the remainder of the book.

About SIMON

I work with founders and senior leaders in rapid growth businesses. My focus is building resilience, coherence and high performance in teams and organisations to enable sustainable business growth.

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