Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 2, Issue 38;   September 18, 2002: Renewal

Renewal

by

Renewal is a time to step out of your usual routine and re-energize. We find renewal in weekends, vacations, days off, even in a special evening or hour in the midst of our usual pattern. Renewal provides perspective. It's a climb to the mountaintop to see if we're heading in the right direction.

Outside my hotel window is a little porch that ends in a middle-sized patch of well-tended lawn. A flowerpot filled with purple lobelia and white-and-yellow pansies hangs from the beam above the porch. Beyond the flowers, I can see the columns of spruce climbing up the side of Mt. Crested Butte. There's a light breeze blowing, and the thickening clouds promise rain. Or at least a sprinkle.

Wildflowers in the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests

Wildflowers in the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. Crested Butte has a Wildflower Festival, usually the second week in July each year. Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Just about every year I attend a conference called Consultants' Camp. It's a group of consultants, IT specialists, and process experts who meet annually in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, for a week of self-organized collegiality and fun. In some ways, it's a conference like any other — there's a continental breakfast, days full of sessions, and there is a program. By the end of the conference many of us feel tired and full. Learning is everywhere.

In other ways Camp is unique. The setting, the Colorado Rockies, is inspirational. Attendees give all sessions. There is no sponsor. Every day, there's a long break in mid-afternoon, which today I'm using to write this essay. Lunch isn't provided, but most of us ante up and share soup and sandwiches and stimulating conversation. For me, and I think for all of us, there's a feeling of belonging.

Renewal is a time
to step out of
the usual routine
and re-energize
I am experiencing renewal.

Renewal is a time to step out of the usual routine and re-energize. I feel good to be here, with these people — colleagues and friends. Renewal can be a large block of time, as Consultants' Camp is, or it can be a few minutes. We find renewal in weekends, vacations, days off, even in a special evening or hour in the midst of routine.

Here are some ideas for making the most of renewal.

Celebrate your renewing
Choose a place or time that marks the beginning of your renewal. If you're leaving home, perhaps that event is locking your front door as you leave. When you do, pause. Breathe. Celebrate the beginning of your Renewal. Do something similar to mark your return.
Eat something new
Eat something you've never tried before, or something you love but rarely allow yourself. Wake up your Nutritional part.
Sleep a little too much
If you normally use an alarm, try a day without it. If you normally jump out of bed upon awaking, try lying there for a while. Who knows, you might sleep a little more.
Notice Nature
Nature is everywhere, but we can get so caught up in our daily pattern that we don't notice it. Step off your usual path and notice a tree or a flower or a snowdrift or a rock.
Connect with colleagues
Connecting with colleagues, especially without an agenda, stirs things up. You can exchange ideas, and create new ideas together.

Renewal can be exhilarating. It can be a climb to the mountaintop for another point of view — for new perspectives and possibilities. Renewal can give you the energy you need for change, or to appreciate the purple lobelia. Go to top Top  Next issue: Make Space for Serendipity  Next Issue

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The Race to the South Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers
On 14The Race to the Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough, but to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. Lessons abound. Read more about this program. Here's a date for this program:

The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
Many The Power Affect: How We Express Personal Powerpeople who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.

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