Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another week in the can

I wasn't actually in the can all week I went to work and did all the normal stuff like usual. I am always happy to see Friday arrive. There is a level of bone tiredness and emotional fatigue that I drag home with me on Friday and plant in my recliner hoping to shake by Monday morning. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

This week is a little different. The week was as challenging as ever and still emotionally draining but I still have something left. I'm not as bone tired. I have enough energy left to seriously consider doing some house work and having a little fun this weekend. Maybe some weeding, a little repair project or clean-up, I might even get my guitar out and do a little strumming. I only play for the dog and he is known to howl.

I came to this job a little more than two years ago. I replaced an executive who was terminated and my suspicions that I was entering a serious mess were quickly confirmed. If you are ever offered a VP or CEO position where a person has been terminated to make room for you get ready its going to be a bumpy ride. This is always a last ditch choice. It's an open admission of how desperate and hopeless the owners and leaders are feeling. The good part is if the product or service is viable the situation is probably not as desperate and hopeless as they think. Fresh eyes, patients and talent can bring it out. I've been through this twice now and in both cases this has been true.

I need to be perfectly honest though I will complain, I relish these experiences. I am a drama and adrenalin junkie who wants to make a difference. Becoming involved in a turn-around situation is a great way to meet these needs. Through this I have become well acquainted with variety of medical professionals and a wide assortment of pharmaceutical products. I call it better living through chemistry most of the time or simple survival at others. I have also come to understand how patient and understanding my family and friends have been through all of this. Some people bungee jump for the shot of adrenalin others do crossword puzzles for a mental challenge. I do business.

At some point in the turn-around process the environment changes. The panic and chaos yields to a sense of greater calm and order. A sense of greater focus and community starts to develop among the leaders and the job gets a lot easier. The balance between being reactive and proactive begins to shift to being more intentional. A greater sense of control begins to emerge. The emotional investment begins to subside and the intellectual challenge becomes less fragmented more focused.

I think we are moving into this phase which is a welcome change following a few years of disappointments and uncertainties. It won't be too long before things start to get a little boring and the adrenalin itch starts up again. Maybe this time bungee jumping would be a better choice.

Thanks for reading.

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