“Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within.”
Eric Liddell___Chariots of Fire
I was on the phone with a client today and found myself ending the conversation with an admonition about the work that needs to be done with regard to the upcoming calendar. We are just three short weeks away from the “Holiday Olympics”!! It’s a long distance event that runs through January 19 and it’s mandatory for ALL. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Years and MLK…….
Remember we are in the “business business” and that means that our members are focused on a few other things besides us during this time. Namely, their business! However, we still have our “business” to do, and I’ve been there. I know that members can check out during this time because there are just too many other things going on. Some of you may have year-end invoicing which is, of course, critical to budgets but not necessarily top-of-mind for them! We can’t get caught short by not being prepared for the marathon.
So how can we run the distance with grace, dignity and some modicum of efficiency??
Review. Take a comprehensive look at all projects, events, meetings and strategy sessions that occur during this time frame. Really look at them. What’s necessary, what can be postponed for a couple of months, what can be canceled altogether……. DO IT NOW! This is NOT the time to start something new.
Prioritize. Shuffle those things around and make sure the absolute MOST important get pushed quickly to the top. Only commit to things that are critical. Put everything, EVERYTHING in your calendar and make sure the entire team is clear on changes and what’s important. You can’t manage expectations if no one was aware they were changing. Beyond staff calendars, make sure that you communicate clearly, to anyone who is affected, any change to the organizational calendar.
Focus. When the stress of these joyous occasions starts to creep in, recognize it for what it is and get on top of it. Go back to your list. Do what must be done. Stay with one thing to the end and don’t let yourself get distracted by all the additions to the schedule both personal and professional.
Relax. People please. I beg of you. Each morning when you sit down to your desk, sit silently for a moment, close your eyes if you are comfortable doing that and think of ONE thing that you can do THAT day for YOU that will help you relax. Go outside and sit on a bench for goodness sake. I don’t care how big or small it is, just do it.
Commit. Make a promise to yourself and recommend the same to your staff and commit to holding each other to it. Promise that you will remain calm, stay on track, recognize and recover quickly when you derail, be kind and pleasant and remember that your members are in exactly the same spot as you!
Oops I forgot Festivus (for the rest of us)………anyone celebrate that one?? I’m hoping this blog post will help you avoid “the airing of grievances”! As Eric Liddell said in the quote above, run your own way, but know that the power to reach the end comes from inside. Dig deep, be prepared, pace yourself, do what you have to do and breathe!!
Off to the races!!