The following is a guest piece by Elliot Begoun.
Mark looked up from his computer and took a deep breath. The frenetic pace of the day had given way to the serene quiet of an empty building. He both treasured this time and found himself tortured by it. The stillness and the lack of interruption, allowed him to finally focus without the chaos of the day constantly ripping him away from his work.
But, this time came with a big sacrifice. Sitting in his office at 7:30 pm meant that he had once again failed to make it to his daughter’s soccer practice, and was sure to miss dinner with the family. He shook his head as if to drive the thought away and returned to the spreadsheet that was demanding his attention.
The next morning Mark had his weekly breakfast meeting with his friend and long-time mentor Sam, who greeted him by saying, “You look like crap! When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep?”
Mark smiled and said, “I think it was that vacation we took 4 months ago.” Sadly, Mark was not kidding.
He went on to tell Sam about yesterday’s craziness. It started by having to run down to the production floor because there was a problem with the filler, and before he could even make it back to his office the QA manager had flagged him down. When he finally did get there, he explained that he was bombarded by emails and phone calls, all of which were in search of some solution or another. Sam just sat and listened intently.
When Mark finally wrapped up his recantation, Sam said, “It sounds to me like you are more of a first responder than you are a leader.”
A puzzled look washed over Mark’s face, so Sam continued. “You are Click here to continue reading »