When I was in London most recently, in June, I fortunate to visit Greenwich. A friend had told me that Greenwich Village is 'different' and that a visit was in order. And it was! In contrast to the hustle and bustle of the City, Canary Wharf and the West End, the people of Greenwich are more laid back. They smile, they say 'hello' and they walk more slowly than their neighbours across the Thames. Many, like the twelve in the picture, happily sit and peer into the distance, taking it all in. Who knows what they were thinking or even looking at. It probably doesn't matter, I guess.
Why am I relating this story? My short visit occurred three-quarters of the way through a hectic three-week multi-country trip. It reminded me of the importance of downtime. With hindsight, the interlude—to gather my thoughts—probably made the difference between just making it through the final week of the trip, and finishing the trip well.
Today, as I was working on a presentation to be delivered on my next trip (1–11 September), thoughts of that Greenwich interlude entered my consciousness. The upcoming trip is packed with seventeen significant commitments including two master classes, three presentations, two important dinners and several planning and roundtable meetings; in London, Canterbury, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Dublin and Belfast. It'll be a busy trip. To top it off, our elder son, who is working in Germany at present, has just asked if we can meet up in London while I'm there. Of course, but when? Then the penny dropped. Rather than pursue two remaining 'pencilled in' meetings, why not spend an afternoon with Tim? Two carefully crafted emails later, some 'Greenwich Time' was locked in. I'm looking forward to it already.
As you move through Friday, my hope is that you too will have the opportunity—better still, take the opportunity—to run on Greenwich Time this weekend. If we are to perform well when it counts, we need to set time aside to relax, recharge and to prepare—mentally, physically and spiritually—for that which lies ahead.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.