You may remember that I mentioned some time ago that I was heading to the Charisma Bootcamp, organised by Owen Fitzpatrick. Well, that happened over the last few days. I only made it to the Gresham on Thursday and Saturday (was teaching on Friday and we have an unwritten rule that Sundays are family days – put it this way, I’d have given Brian a hard time if he disappeared on a Sunday for a farming conference so I didn’t really have a leg to stand on!)
What was it like? It was excellent, too much to write about in a single blog post so I’m going to cover it in a couple of posts and will write a less rambling post on it over on Write on Track too.
The beauty of it was that it was very focused and yet, so much was covered but in such a way as to make you think about your personal or business issues that you’ve been procrastinating about dealing with.
Take, for example, organisation. ?I have never seen myself as an organised person. Yet, as a couple of people have said to me recently, I have to be organised as otherwise children wouldn’t get fed apart from anything else. I was amused recently when I met a friend who was rushing as her husband was late back with the car having left the ?kids to school and done the grocery shopping. I can’t remember the last time Brian did the grocery shopping, let alone put it away. It’s not that he is lazy but because he works such long hours on the farm. I started to think then of all the other jobs that ‘husbands/partners’ might usually do around the home such as homework with the kids occasionally or putting the bins out or bringing the recycling or washing the windows. ?Here, I do all of them, well, some of them get left for longer than they should but get done eventually. Yes, I’m effectively a single parent for 10 months of the year.
So am I organised? Well, I might be but I don’t like to see myself as organised and hence, inwardly, I tend to rebel against anything that might have a semblance of organisation about it. Having said that, I’m usually on time for things (albeit about 2 minutes late and with damp hair and very little make up on) and if I tell someone I am going to do something within a certain time frame, 9 times out of 10 I’ll get it done. I can’t stand people who are unreliable!
But being disorganised seems a nice thing to be, it seems fun and carefree. Okay, I might have to spend 15 minutes looking for a piece of paper that would have taken me 30 seconds to find if I had filed it away but that’s the price you have to pay isn’t it?
When Owen came to see us with the producer of the Not Enough Hours programme in Dec 2008, I had presumed that RTE had got some nerdy guy who was a stickler on being on time and who would be a complete bore, I’d never heard of Owen Fitzpatrick or nlp.
I warmed to Teresa (the producer) straight away, she had been to the same secondary school as Brian (building up rapport) and having spoken to her on the phone, I already knew we had things in common. ?Owen didn’t look as nerdy as I’d expected but I was taking it all with a liberal pinch of salt.
The four of us had a long chat, some tea and biscuit cake and then Owen asked me what was so wrong about being organised. ?I took a deep breath as I looked for the right word and couldn’t find it. ‘Well, I see it as being a bit ….. well, a bit anal’ I finished and then there was a pause as I could feel, rather than see, Owen’s mouth open and close as he looked for words to answer that, I could also feel Brian looking at me as if to say ‘I can’t believe you just told this organised time management guy that he’s anal’ and I thought to myself ‘I can’t believe I more or less just told this organised guy that he’s anal’ and I didn’t dare to look at anyone as I gulped down my hot tea!!! I genuinely can’t remember what his answer was but at least he didn’t take offence, just thought I was slightly mad!
I’m glad to say that I did become much more organised without feeling that I was becoming particularly ‘uptight’ about it all but I still didn’t like to see myself as particularly organised – it was like I had an OCD about being organised. ?I still work best under some stress – if I am working against a deadline, I am much more focused!
What does that have to do with Charisma Bootcamp? (I did warn you the more rambling posts would be on this blog 😉 ?). Well, Rob Orr’s module on Responsible Leadership included getting everyone to fill out their instinctive responses to various questions and within that,, I realised that my most unproductive habit was being disorganised and seeing it as okay to be disorganised. ?I’ve known that this is something that is holding me back, that I have needed to change my thinking on it for some time especially as I’m relatively organised most of the time.
I really liked Rob Orr, a down-to-earth, hardworking, matter-of-fact successful Scottish businessman who clearly works very hard and doesn’t intend to stop. Why not? Because as he achieves one goal, he is already planning the journey to the next one. As he said ‘Don’t be average, work hard and be brilliant’. ?After all, we are privileged to be living in this country, we might moan about the health service and the increasing taxes and our government but we have access to hospitals, we can drive our children to the doctor, we can send our children to school rather than to work in a factory. We should be giving something back. As he said ‘Follow your bliss, but to get there you need to work up some blisters and be prepared to get outside your comfort zone’.
I know I need to cop on to myself that being organised is a positive thing to be and somehow, attending on those modules, has made me decide that if it is something that I can’t get my head around, I need to work at it if I am to achieve all the things on my ‘bucket list’. We owe it to ourselves to be the best we possibly can be and if that means seeing myself as organised, then that is something that I need to do and stop pushing it to the back of my mind.