Looking back at the past four weeks, it’s been a bit of a disjointed month.
The first week we were on holiday, enjoying time as a family in British Columbia, Canada. That was swiftly followed by an overnight flight back to the UK and returning to work at TPXimpact.
It’s felt quite hard to get momentum at work this month. I’m not sure if the holiday data backs this up, but it’s certainly felt that a lot of people have been taking well-deserved holidays in August. This has led to a degree of discontinuity as projects haven’t moved forward as quickly as they otherwise would have done. Hopefully September will be an easier month for getting progress to happen.
As parents of an 18 year old, we’ve also been through the tribulations of A level results this month, missing the required grades by one mark in 300 in one subject, a re-mark, a better grade re-awarded and securing the university place he wanted in the space of six days.
I’ve been practising my drone flying skills this month too, trying to work on understanding the basics of drone photography. I managed to capture some lovely summer evening shots flying over Kentish hop fields earlier in the month, including the featured image above. The creative opportunities you get from photography from the air are really interesting.
Over the past week or so I’ve also been increasingly thinking about my trip to north Wales this Saturday to take part in the Snowdon Ultra.
I entered this 50 mile ultra-running event earlier in the year to set myself a challenge and have been preparing for it since. Training has been variable, with a calf tweak this month providing a bit of a scare.
Not having done anything as long as this before, I’ve also had to think about preparing kit, food, navigation and familiarising myself with the route.
The event takes in ascents of Tryfan, Snowdon, Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr – more than 3,250 metres of climbing in around 50 miles on the trail.
There’s a 24 hour time limit and my goal is to get around in that time. The weather forecast is good and I’m looking forward to getting onto the start line in Betws-y-Coed early on Saturday morning.
It’s been a good reminder for me that I am at my most focussed when I have a clear goal to aim at – a former colleague described me as “mission-focussed” and I think that’s pretty accurate.
Music this month…
Being back at work has meant a lot more background music when I’m working and thinking. Soundcloud is usually my first destination for mixes and I’ve particularly enjoyed discovering new mixes from the Kitchen Raving Misbehaving crew in the past three weeks.
Podcasts this month…
Less running in the past few weeks with a sore calf has meant less podcasts, but I’ve listened to a couple of episodes of Brave New Work which reminded me what how good this podcast can be. I particularly enjoyed the show 139 which covered decision-making.
Reading this month…
I discovered a couple of business biogs on my Kindle library that my son had bought ages ago that I’d never got around to reading. So this month’s reading has covered Bob Iger’s “Ride of a Lifetime” and Phil Knight’s “Shoe Dog“.
The Bob Iger book was interesting as it gave an insight to what it’s like in a leadership role in a huge global business with more than 130,000 employees. I’ve not finished the Nike book yet, but so far it’s covered the story of how the business began as Blue Ribbon and the early start-up stage of its growth.
Sometimes I find business biographies a bit airbrushed, lacking in genuine self-analysis or criticality, but these two seem to tell their tales with a degree of humility and reflective thought that makes them more than just vanity memoirs.