Regroup and Readjust

November 27, 2013

I made a decision at work.  For some it came as a surprise, for me, it has been brewing for some time now.  Admittedly, I am one that naturally avoids conflict, one that is more likely to listen than to talk, one that generally provides advice, but fails to listen to my own words.  

Today, out of the blue for most, I decided to step back, regroup and readjust.  The decision to step away from the office, for an indefinite period of time, seems rash.  As I sit here and type this, I question my own strength, my own resilience, and my own value.  

With every fibre of my being, I truly believe in the honour and the humility that comes with being a public servant.  This sentiment is echoed even more loudly as a manger within the public service.  As a manager we have a duty to care, to nurture and to deliver.  

For me, and I recognize this reflection comes mere hours after making the decision, I may just have taken on too much.  By taking on too much, I let my team down, I let my department down and I let my family down.

Earlier today, I moderated a discussion between a group of young public servants and a senior leader within the organization.  This senior leader shared some sage advice.  He mentioned that you need to take chances, you need to be true to yourself – in effect, ‘you only live once’, but you have got to live it right.

His words gave me pause for reflection, coupled with the tragic loss of a family member on Sunday night, I realized that i needed to step back.  I needed to regroup and readjust.  

I had a conversation with two of my colleagues – two trusted friends – and let them know that I was going to take some time.  They were supportive. And while they said they understood, I can’t help but feel I am taking the easy road out.  

But at the end of the day, I know the work will go and we will deliver like we always do.  During my conversation with my two friends, one of them remarked, ‘perhaps you care too much.’  Those words too gave me pause to look inside.  

I understand and appreciate the sentiment  As a public servant, and as a manager, I am not sure we can ever care enough.  

There is a bigger lesson in here and it will take some time to uncover and learn from it, but for now, the decision to take some time away has been made. 

Over the coming days, I will focus on these 3 small words: ‘Regroup and Readjust.’ If you have insight, I’d welcome the opportunity to listen…and to talk.