Running Flat Out to Stand Still

Today's post is more reflective, and designed to help me regroup, refocus and regain perspective.  You are invited to come along for the ride.

I really love my job as CIO, but there are days when I get home, and I feel like a hamster in a wheel - lots of motion, but no progress.
Image: MS Office Online
In considering a career as a technology leader, you willingly enter into a dynamic, fast paced world with competing priorities, budgets, and resources.  You are expected to "keep the lights on" cost effectively while at the same time enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals and leverage technology to differentiate itself from its competitors.

Every day brings new announcements of products and services that promise to change the way you do things, and you are expected to be on top of them all.  In addition, you have a team to lead (one of your most important roles) and life events and personality conflicts continue to introduce diversions and distractions.

There is little time to breathe, or rest.

Many times, you will find yourself as the sole proponent of a new idea, and having to defend the continued investment in providing proper tools and infrastructure when the overwhelming tendency is to revert into cost containment and control.  You feel as if you are "outstanding in your field", all by yourself.

So what's the answer?

As I describe the challenges of the job, I realize that I derive great satisfaction and energy from actually accomplishing things and OVERCOMING these challenges.  It's when I get too myopic that these challenges start looking bigger than my tenacity to overcome them.

For me, a short retreat to a quiet place (i.e. sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario) gives me time to put things in perspective. Meditation, prayer, pondering, journaling, or just staying absolutely quiet for a moment. It's MAKING the time to get out of the fray, and breathe.

This adds the secret ingredient to your busy life - perspective.  Without it, your career can suck the energy out of you.

Thankfully, I had the time to sit by the lake last evening.

I'm much better now, thank you.

Now, back to slaying the dragons.


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