December’s definitely been a month of two distinct periods for me.
The run-up to my last day at TPXimpact on 16th December was a particularly intense time.
I did a lot of trying to wrap up loose ends and making sure I’d handed things over properly while also giving myself a moment to get my head around not being employed for the first time in 25 years.
It was interesting to notice how the process of withdrawing from activities and accountabilities provided space for others so quickly — a good reminder that at work we are just part of a complex system. It’s impossible to predict with complete accuracy how that system will respond to change.
Instinct also tells me that leaders naturally err on the side of caution when considering the impact of people-related change, not considering the possibilities and opportunities with the same focus as we think about loss and risk.
The second half of the month disappeared quickly in a blur.
We spent five nights on a family holiday in New York before Christmas, enjoying spending time away together as a family before our eldest son heads off on his gap year travels in early January. It’s almost 20 years since we last went to New York and it was fascinating to see what had changed. I love the experiences of exploring new places and new cultures.
Watching a city like New York exist 24/7 with such energy and fervour, it amazes me how people live permanently in large cities. It’s just not an environment I would thrive in for extended periods — I enjoy the space and peace that being away from cities too much.
After New York, the Christmas and New Year week gave us another bout of Covid in the family, leading to an unplanned quiet few days at home and sadly some last minute rearranging of family plans.
Having had some time away from TPXimpact, I’ve also been able to devote some time and mental energy to refining the next iteration of what I’m going to be experimenting with at work next month.
There are three broad areas where I’m going to be focussing and refining: consultancy projects, working in a small number of companies as a fractional COO and taking on one or two carefully chosen new non-executive roles.
I’m grateful to the many people who’ve offered me feedback and advice so far in my journey going independent. They’ve shared a lot of really valuable insights which have helped me approach 2023 with confidence and to embrace experimentation with what work I do next.
Music this month…
Podcasts this month…
Not been listening to as many podcasts this month, probably as I’ve been doing less long runs. Favourite episode this month was Gustavo Razzetti on Dave Stachowiakx’s Coaching for Leaders podcast, talking about building culture among remote team members.
Reading this month…
I’ve been working my way through The World in Conflict: Understanding the world’s troublespots by John Andrews. It’s a super detailed (and pretty objective) analysis of where conflict exists in the world and why it’s happening. I wanted to learn more about why regional clashes and tensions happen, going beyond often superficial or one-sided online analysis. It’s a good book if you’re committed to learning, but not one to pick up for a relaxing read.