Three snow and ice storms later (I landed once again in a snowstorm, my second snowstorm landing in Boston this year), I had to get used again to getting up in the cold and dark. This time I suffered jetlag for an entire week, going to bed at 7:30PM and getting up at 4AM. It helps to beat the traffic but it makes for poor company at home after hours.

The next trip is already booked, to Geneva at the end of the month, but until then I enjoy being at home, even with ice and snow. This included a long weekend with the grandkids.

The big event after my return was the publication of a booklet I have worked on, and believed in, since I first visualized it more than a year ago: an ABC for Managers Who Lead. It was hard to enlist others into this vision, especially those with money to fund this. Eventually we, that is myself and Marnina, a young colleague who was as passionate about the booklet, and an ace organizer to boot, got what we needed to cover the design and printing. The booklet is stacked in boxes in our offices in Medford and Arlington. We are distributing it widely. It is both a reminder to all of us ‘managers who lead’ about the various aspects of these functions and also a small gift to put in our counterparts’ hands, reminding them that this is one of our corporate strengths. The responses so far have been encouraging.

The process by which the booklet was created was maybe the most exciting. We enlisted some 18 colleagues through a kind of crowdfunding arrangement to contribute to the content: people proposed verbs for each of the letters of the alphabet, we balanced verbs that are about managing with those about leading and then had people vote, all using Google’s platform. After that we proposed content categories: a definition, a quote, questions for reflection and an application in one of our field projects. We also asked for videos to illustrate the verb. Individuals selected verbs to write about, we reviewed each other’s work, tried to ‘sell’ the concept to people who have authority over budgets and revised content as needed.

This has been the most creative work I have done and I realize, once again, that this is the kind of work I love to do. The fallow weeks between travels are now dedicated to reviewing things that others wrote – it covers my time, a good thing –  but the thing I still like most is writing new stuff or new perspectives on old stuff.

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February 2016
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