We left home at 10:45 on Sunday morning for a road trip without a scope of work, a schedule or a list of things to achieve. I am a project manager by profession and passion. The very thought of leaving for any adventure without a scope, budget, schedule, and technology makes me nervous. On this trip, the cell phones won’t work in a large part of rural Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Horrors! How will I ever survive without my umbilical cord to the world? Very well, as it turns out.
We were driving to Racine because my flight couldn’t be moved up. There were no seats available. A direct result of July 1 and July 4 falling in the same week. When Canadians and our US cousins travel on the same weekends, it means the all seats are booked. The majority of the planes are 50 seaters. Flying standby means that my emergency does not create an urgency on Delta’s part. Driving was the risk mitigation response. The trip will cover 2800 kilometres return in 7 days. A couple of those days will be driving the west side of Lake Superior so it will be good thinking time.
As we travelled through Northwestern Ontario to Fort Frances, the scenery was absolutely amazing. Every few kilometres, there was a small lake with cabins and people enjoying the 25 degree Celsius weather. The silence was strangely comforting.
It occurred to me that this area of the continent would provide a number of great team building activities for project teams. Our teams spend a lot of their time glued to their chairs creating and delivering products and services for our customers. I know some PMs whose teams are at work before any self-respecting chicken is awake and leave after the owls and bats are out. We need to do better at encouraging our team members to take a break.
We were approaching Duluth, MN and the cell phone hasn’t pinged once. In fact, I haven’t been tempted to pick it up. I am writing my blog the old fashioned way; using a pen and paper. I honestly can’t remember when I wrote other than to keep my journal current.
As we drove down the road, I realized that it is hard when we are focused on the here and now to remember that there are times when you should take time for you, your family, and your team to just be you. There are days when I don’t believe that I will have the impact on the world of a John Maxwell but I do have the opportunity to interact and impact the lives of every individual that I meet. I can be an ambassador for change in the project management profession. I can advocate for the best interests of the stakeholders and their ability to support and deliver to the very best of their abilities.
“Take the time to enjoy the world around you.
It goes by faster than you think.”