You asked a good question. You asked Sharon and I how we keep focused and invested. (How do we keep loving our work?) I had to think, but not for long. We both do love our work, and I think we keep focused and invested in different ways. I admire Sharon because she really knows how to “unplug” (her word). She knows how to take time and stay away from her computer and phone and devote it to family. I think that keeps her energy up. (I told her I was jealous because I can’t seem to do that as well as she does.) But I’ll leave the elaboration of that up to you, partner!
I do like getting away (on Friday I leave with husband and teenager for some skiing in Mammoth), but one thing that always rejuices me and makes me love my work is when I get to think with my peers. This past weekend I attended a yearly gathering of about 30 people in San Diego. We call ourselves The Learning Network and we’ve been meeting for about the last seven years. It’s made up of some wonderful colleagues, all of whom get to take turns talking about what we are doing (personally and professionally) and get ideas and brainstorms from others.
This time, (just to give you a sense of it) Jim Kouzes talked about the new book he was writing on courage. He asked us about courageous moments in our lives. Bill Bridges talked about some thoughts about “later” adulthood. Marshall Goldsmith talked about some ways we might all work together in the area of coaching. Libba and Gifford Pinchot talked about the new Bainbridge Graduate Institute that they founded on Bainbridge Island that they hope will transform business education. Nancy Adler talked about a speech she gave recently on miracles, and asked us about the miracles we were grateful for and the ones we wanted to create in the future. All of these people are doing such interesting work – you’ll see what I mean by visiting those websites.
I went to the meeting in a bit of a funk but came back re-energized, enthused, in love with my work again – and excited about what I might do next. I have to remember that this kind of thinking together is an elixir of sorts for me. Thanks again for asking the question, Heath.