Controlling the controllable. Whiskey anyone?

When things go wrong and swerve off track you do the only thing you can do, you control the controllable. And yes sadly 9:30am is too early for whiskey...

I miss cheering Ireland in the Rugby World Cup 2015. Do you? After an exhilarating win in the Six Nations, Ireland floated into the tournament in September on clouds of optimism.

Ireland were blessed with a gentle pool, save for France who are always a challenge, especially at World Cup’s. having made it to at least the quarter-finals in every world cup tournament since its inception. Before we knew it Ireland had breezed into the quarterfinals but not without making some sacrifices to the rugby gods. Along the way we lost Payne, O’Mahony, Sexton and one of the few men who deserve canonisation on earth- Paul O’Connell- to injury and the cruel nature of professional sport. Ireland then lost to Argentina 43-20. A score that exposed bigger problems than some injured players. Immediately Ireland leapt to the team’s defence. How could we perform when we had lost our captain and anchor of the forward pack? We had concentrated too much on our previous battle with France and didn’t give our clash with Argentina the respect it deserved. While the country’s loyalty was admirable it took a while to accept the truth.

It was TV3 panelist Matt Williams who shone a light on the facts of the day, and more relevantly, the theme of this post. [su_pullquote]When things go wrong and swerve off track you do the only thing you can do you control the controllable. [/su_pullquote]Yes we lost players, but nothing we could do could bring them back from the injury bench. What was left to do was to reexamine the remaining squad, a strong squad of fit, proud and ambitious players ready to play a match that would make history in Irish rugby. Alas, we allowed ourselves to get swept away with the remorse and the result was a disappointing crash out of the World Cup.

Every so often in work I wake up to a tidal wave of messages and updates that completely disrupt my predecided plan of the day. With working partners in the US, things often happen while I’m asleep and blissfully ignorant. The morning starts with an urgent run down of the changes to be made to various processes and procedures. Operations manuals, sales processes and a host of documents need to be written, recorded and turned around for review by the end of the day. Calls with team mates need to be arranged and slotted into already hectic schedules all complying with client meetings, training days and time differences. It can be manic, more than manic. But no amount of sighing and eye rolling at the screen will change the amount of work we have to plough through before the end of the day, it will only stoke the fire of a bad attitude, making the work that bit harder.

When you experience one of those work avalanches it is important to take a moment to take stock. All these changes and whirlwinds that have happened are outside of your control, all you can do is take control of the resources you have at hand and identify the resources you need that you don’t have yet. Who do you need to call? Who has the latest version of that document? How early can I have a whiskey without booking myself in for a lifetime of HR sessions?   

Keep up a positive momentum, watch your team pull together in a way that highlights the essence of collaboration. Allow yourself to acknowledge the mountain of work and the urgency around it, it will make you feel all the more accomplished when the final whistle blows.

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