Behind a Desk

I have to say the first five months of the year have been pretty busy for me as a trainer… in fact, they’ve been so busy I’ve just met myself coming back.

(That’s an old expression from where I come from meaning ‘very busy’!)

I don’t know why it’s been so busy… it just has. The recession of 2009 didn’t really hit us too badly, even though training tends to be one of the things cut and we’ve been flat out since about August of last year.

But now I find that I can pause, take stock, catch up and generally relax behind a desk for almost a whole two weeks.

At least that’s what I thought.

I arrived in my new office this morning, sorted out my in-tray (most of which ended up being filed under ‘B’, wrote some course reports, made some calls to people I needed to catch up with and then…

Well, then, I realised I don’t really like being behind a desk too much. It’s… I don’t know… not natural somehow.

It was only as I was thinking these thoughts that I realised that being so busy has had a detrimental effect on the way I’m doing business.

It’s a bit like when you’ve been bombing along the motorway for hours on end at (no more than) 70 miles an hour and you suddenly turn into a town where it feels as though you could get out and run faster than the thirty miles an hour you’re now travelling.

It feels like that to me. I’ve been travelling at (no more than) 70 mph for months and now I’ve got the chance to slow down, it feels all wrong.

This is a classic example of two things that can be the curse of running a business in Enterprise Britain. First of all, I’ve got myself so I’m working in the business not on the business. As I’m delivering training, I’m right in it, as it where.

The second ailment I’m suffering from is the urgent is now outweighing the important.

What do I mean by this?

First of all, for an EB business owner, we define Urgent that is a task or action with a defined delivery date that is soon and Important as something that will move the business forwards in terms of growth or other defined KPIs.

Well, delivering training is urgent; there’s a schedule and a delivery date to be met. Clearly, for the client the delivery is very important and to us, in terms of customer service, it is, too. But it doesn’t really move the business forward.

So, I should be using my new found luxury of time to think, plan and implement new marketing, to find more customers and to come up with new and inventive ways of extending the brand…

Instead, I wish I was back out there, delivering programmes, because then I feel busy… and if I feel busy, I must be important, right?

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