Choose How You Tell Time

In the award-winning play RENT, a key song is entitled SEASONS OF LOVE. The question it asks is “How do you measure a year in the life of a woman or a man?” Not surprisingly, the answer it offers is, “Measure your life in love.” Not bad advice.

As Consultants, we have to also decide how to measure our lives and tell time. I recently shared with numerous friends that we spent two and a half weeks on the road (a brief trip for me), between Dubai, Singapore and Thailand. They rolled their eyes and said, “Wow, that must have been tiring.” Really? That’s not how my wife (who is also my business partner) and I were telling time or keeping score.

For me, the two and a half weeks are remembered as follows:

1) A day in Dubai to break the journey, meet our clients at Raffles Dubai, and spend time with two of our team, coaching and preparing them for some major projects ahead.

2) Three action-packed days in Singapore between doing project reviews with Raffles Singapore, helping a key global client do a leadership hand-over from an iconic leader to a new leader charged with carrying forward their impressive trajectory of success, and doing a set of interviews for an upcoming talk.

3) A blissful week-end in Bangkok at the legendary Oriental Hotel, catching up with a past colleague for a superb lunch overlooking the Chao Praya (The River of Kings), and meeting with the also legendary Kurt Wachtveitl as he prepares to leave the helm of the Oriental after 42 years. Kurt is a dear friend, has been a wonderful host over so many special years and we’re looking forward to both retaining contact and perhaps undertaking some hospitality projects together after he enjoys a well earned sabbatical. Kurt at 70 has the energy, drive and imagination that we should all aspire to.

4) Back in Singapore to have a splendid dinner with some global clients who were in town, another set of project review meetings with Raffles Singapore, a presentation to the annual HR Summit in Singapore, an interview on Singapore TV (the clip will be posted shortly on our website) for a morning business program, two sets of meetings relative to an exciting upcoming opportunity in Vietnam, and visiting the new restaurant opened by the former Chef at the Raffles Grill, “The French Kitchen”. We’re delighted Jean Charles has gotten off to such a wonderful start. In the vernacular of Vulcans (on our mind, as we also caught the opening of the impressive Star Trek prequel in Singapore), may the restaurant “live long and prosper.”

5) Back in Dubai for 24 hours, to deliver a speech for the Entrepreneur’s Organization, who had their first attempt to hold a session on a week-end. A packed house, business leaders and their spouses, a valuable and successful occasion all around.

6) Back home to New York last Sunday…in time to make it to Rosa Mexicano for our usual Sunday night dinner.

So to me, it’s two and a half weeks of client engagement, catching up with friends, building our brand, seeding future opportunities, while having great fun. Tiring? How about deeply satisfying?

We tell the stories we choose (i.e one of jet lag and fatigue or of stimulus, great fun and abundant opportunity). Thereby, we pick our frames, and then we pick our “ROE” (return on energy), our responses, and our results accordingly.

Measure your life in the value you extract from your experiences and the value you offer those experiences in return.