Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Message of the Week Ten

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Winston Churchill

The way I see it, you can either moan about your job, your work, your life, or you can look at all the opportunities you have to make a difference. We have never had it so good and work can be more fun, more fulfilling, more creative, more rewarding and, depending where you sit in this organisation, more sociable and more stimulating!

It has been a funny old week. I spent all day Tuesday and Thursday morning in bed with migraine and suffered all week from the fall out; intense pain, flashing lights, stomach cramps and nausea. Migraine is a curse but it also provides me with a warning when I am doing too much or my work-life balance has slipped.

There were some real highlights last week. We launched the Leeds Inclusive Learning Strategy and for good measure we did it on Monday at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel and again on Wednesday at the Royal Armouries. Carol Jordan and her colleagues did a really good job and the feedback, I have received so far, suggests that it was a great couple of days.

On Thursday evening, having partially recovered, I attended a celebration of the achievements of our looked after children at the Civic Hall. Til Wright and her colleagues had arranged a really special evening for the children and their carers and supporters.

On Friday I tried to get my life back together; sorting the paper, reading the mountain of e-mails and generally managing the backlog of things that had slipped while my head was in a bucket in a darkened room! And as I sat in Costa Coffee taking a break, I realised, once again, that my life is brilliant. The real challenge is recognising that you can choose the path you lead, you can decide whether your life will be boring or mediocre or whether it will be extraordinary. And to be extraordinary you simply have to find and nurture a passion for something; be it work, leisure or the love of your life.

Who wants to be anything other than extraordinary? So to build brilliant, we need to develop a work ethic, a culture and a set of attitudes and beliefs that engages, attracts, retains and develops outstanding, brilliant individuals. We must create and sustain a brilliant work place and a real sense of a learning community, so that everyone is positive and really enjoys coming to work.

I know that in our materialistic world the pursuit of riches has become an end in itself for lots of people, rather than the means to a comfortable and interesting life. Work has become the way we meet our need for money, rather than meeting our need as human beings for meaning, fulfilment and growth. Happiness for me is not about having more money, more toys and more things so that I can do more of what I want, so that I can be happier. Happiness for me is about being myself and doing what I need to do to make a real difference, to make life easier and more rewarding for those I love and care about and to serve those who need me.

So it’s up to you. Be part of the next chapter of this wonderful adventure. Help me build a brilliant organisation and live your work as you want to live your life. Hopefully migraine free!

No comments: