Thursday, February 28, 2008

I've Got a Cold, But It Was Worth It

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Swimming in Moderation

Driving up the Garden State Parkway at 5:30 am on Thursday, I tried putting myself in the same mood as when I swam, but there was darkness and the radio and other cars to reckon with. I needed to arrive by 6:30 am to moderate a panel of four of our executives.

It was sad to miss swimming, but really fun to do the facilitation of the discussion. I told my partner Pat, "I enjoyed the moderation, I mean, moderating." By "...really fun," I meant that I liked having time pressure and needing to encourage at least a decent conversation within the constraint.

We taped it, and I just listened to it again to cull highlights to share with my colleagues. This week entailed lots of extra hours for work and school, hence, the dearth of blog-entries till now. Also, I slept too little and caught a cold, but it felt worth it during the panel.

It was amazing how great I felt while it was going on, and how, listening to the replay was a bit of a downer; I could hear myself speaking too quickly and adding, "uh..." a number of times....Oh, well. It was a reminder that perfection was not primary, but rather trying to ensure the best possible experience for everyone involved, and I did.

A colleague I respect a great deal instant-messaged me, "Beautiful job this morning." Another I respect wished for an even more candid sort of chat. It was intense, with nearly 100 people listening in from around the world, and we had invited them to submit questions prior, so necessarily, it was a bit over-structured in that way, so that it could be manageable.

Among the nicest responses was from an Indian colleague with whom I got to work during my assignment, who wrote about how a number of the Indian team gathered in the Bangalore office together and could picture me as I moderated. The world felt smaller and sweeter then.

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