August is a “slow” month, yet this unique year is one of Transitions, so it is key to balance rest in August with also focussing during this quiet period on the valuable work of considering What Comes Next.
Today we enter August, in much of the Northern Hemisphere a time to switch off from all but the minimum work and focus on vacation and recharging the batteries before picking back up again in September.
This year I thought it might be different, with the pandemic interrupting such seasonal rhythms. Around late April, about a month or so into lockdown, I felt that instead of slowing down, leaders and businesses would be “playing catch up” over the summer due to the impact of the shutdown in the spring. That hasn’t happened, in the main, with the majority of businesses and leaders focussed, more than ever in fact, on the need for a break in the summer, and particularly in August. Seasonal rhythms are powerful!
In short, this year August is again a month where the focus is on rest and relaxation, with only the minimum of business done, particularly around new projects, strategies, ideas.
However, each year at this time, though, I always encourage leaders to balance the rest and vacation with time spent focussing on the business, on the brave and transformative work that tends to get shoved aside when the busy-ness of September comes.
This pandemic year, with all that has happened, with the impact it has had and the opportunities it brings, now more than ever I strongly encourage you to spend some time during August looking at the big picture.
This year, I really sense a feeling of “Transitions”, where the pandemic has accelerated change for so many of us and so many businesses. Some of that change would have happened already, only to happen faster in 2020. Some will be unforeseen and so have even higher impact on the business. Some change will be only incremental, but for many, it will be (and perhaps already has been) radical.
Lots of transitions, hence my encouragement, more than ever before at this time of year, to take time to focus on the big picture and opportunities.
What Comes Next
This is a time of transition for me and my work too, with, at this time, a few clients arriving at natural transition points. One example is a client I can poetically describe as recently attaining the high mountaintop they started out towards years ago, where my role was as their sherpa on the journey. It is now a natural stage to smile and wave them onwards to the next stage of that journey.
Such transitions create space for the new. For me, that means space to work with new leaders and their businesses, so I enter August “raring to go”, excited to see who I will work with around their leadership and in bravely transforming their business, to look at What Comes Next!
I’d love for you to take half an hour with me to voice your thoughts on what comes next with me as your sounding board, to listen to you as you focus on what comes next for yourself and your business.
(Btw, WhatComesNext.Live live shows continue through August, every Tuesday at 17:00 UK time)
Book your 30-minute meeting here.
Also published on Medium.