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As you call people back to the office, you may have a hard time figuring out how strongly to demand that everyone follows the same rules.

There are so many variables! Nature of job tasks, desire for people to connect face-to-face, costs, sanitizing requirements, and so on.

What it comes down to is this: You want to have enough flexibility so that everyone feels reasonably productive, comfortable and supported.

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I see a lot of businesses struggling with their new model for people working in the office versus from home. This is a significant issue for those who worked so hard last year to suddenly create new approaches.

We’ve now discovered that “calling the troops back” isn’t nearly as simple as we expected.

Part of it is the still-evolving regulations, of course, but that’s minor compared to what workers need and expect from their employers. The difficult truth is that each person is making his or her own unique decision, based on complicated factors that they’ve never had to deal with before:

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I heard the recent report of a Nepali team reaching the summit of K2, the world’s second highest peak, during winter. A magnificent achievement of incredible difficulty!

But, of course, the lurking question is: Why bother?

“Because it’s there”

— George Mallory, 1924, on summiting Everest

Not everything can be measured in quantifiable terms.

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After a big event or a holiday, it can be tough to get your energy focused back on what you need to get done. Actually, that’s the way you know a holiday was valuable: you were able to shift to other things for a while, and it’s kinda tough getting back in the groove.

I took a good long holiday break this Christmas, so I’m experiencing that now. It’s actually a good feeling.

But now I have to get focused again.

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Beware the barrenness of a busy life — Socrates

Do you struggle with this? I know I do.

I was talking with my coach about this the other day, because I’m in a phase where I’m doing lots of stuff, but not convinced that I’m getting to the important stuff.

The Socrates quote gives me some comfort that this isn’t a new phenomenon, but it also doesn’t fix my problem.

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I’ve been recently dealing with a death in the family, which instantly changed my perspective on what’s really critical in life.

I understand being very focused on business issues, customers, employees, and profitability. Yes, those are important.

At the same time, we all realize that there are other things which push those to the background. If you’re sick, you’ll focus on that so you can get back to business and give it the time and energy it deserves.

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We work our butts off, and do everything we can for business success. Many times it feels like I’m so tied up in it that there’s nothing else.

Then something comes up that makes me realize there are more important things.

My mother died recently, so of course there a lot of logistical things to take care. But more important are the relationships I’m reconnecting, all over the world. And it’s fascinating to see how my friends and colleagues support me, even though they never met her.

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We have a new term for overloading yourself with negative information: Doomscrolling.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it refers to spending too much time on your newsfeed, looking for the next thing to worry about. And right now, people are capturing a whole lot to worry about.

It occurred to me, though, that this is just the most recent form of something which has existed for my entire lifetime:

  • The need to keep current with all the newspapers
  • Devouring news magazines
  • The 24 hour TV newscycle
  • General news websites
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What you measure gets attention. What gets attention gets worked on. And what gets worked on is improved.

This is such a basic train of thought, yet how often do we actually lead this way?

Let’s say that the key to your particular business success is developing personal, nurturing relationships with your customers. Yet when you have meetings and talk about progress, you’re showing revenue, expenses, on-time delivery and defects. Where did customer relationships even get mentioned?

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Cleaning up after a meeting, I asked, “where’s your recycling?”

I wasn’t that surprised to find out they had no recycling bin in that office, so I simply took the can home with me. No big deal.

I wasn’t trying to be “that annoying guy with an agenda”, but trying to move the needle, even fractionally.

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