Pros and Cons

No, I haven’t been able to write down a single blog post in the past 15 days, and I miss it. I miss the intimate time that I get to spend with myself when typing up my thoughts on my laptop.

The truth is I have been tied up with a huge corporate project in the past months, and with the official launch time set on April 12th, the home-run in the past two weeks really sucked all my energy, and every bit of the wisdom that I possess (if any).

This is a project that involves people at all levels and from everywhere, let it be global or local; communications or business units; executives from Europe or North America; politicians or bureaucrats; managers, peers or subordinates; internal customers or external agencies.

As a life-long corporate communicator, I have managed all kinds of projects and PR campaigns, but this one is pretty high up in terms of the level of profile, exposure, benefits and risks.

I’m not going to share the nitty gritty of the project itself and all the associated media coverage, but what I can say is that any high-profile and high-demanding project has its own pros and cons.

Here are a few that I’d like to highlight:

#1 – PRIORITY

Pro: When there is a clear deadline and level of importance set for the project, you clearly know what your TOP priority is at work. It’s so much easier for you to say no to other demands and asks, and it’s so much easier for you to organize your calendar because every golden hour at work should be spent at planning, strategizing and executing this specific project.

Con: Unfortunately, we all know that this single big project is just part of your daily responsibilities. It’s actually an add-on to your already extremely full work schedule. So, what does this mean in reality? It means your working hours get longer and longer, every day. You arrive at office at 7am and you don’t leave until after 7pm. Lunch time? yup, grab a soup and swallow it with your telecon with the headquarter in France.

#2 – PEOPLE

Pro: You really get to know who your best friends are in a stressful situation. It doesn’t take much for you to find out who the smart ones are, who the cooperative ones are, who the talented ones are, and who the good writers are and who have the brilliant brains.

Con: Unfortunately, you will also find out who the slackers are. You will get very impatient with those individuals, because you are under pressure and you need everyone to be the top notch performer. As much as you want to be gentle and diplomatic, sometimes you just don’t have the appetite or bandwidth to tolerate the non-smart behaviors. The consequence? You lost your temper at one of the team meetings, and yes, you, the one that is known as the nicest and the most polite one at work.

#3 – POSITION

Pro: A complicated project will help you accurately identify your position in a complicated organization. You will quickly learn which lane in the swimming pool belongs to you. There is always someone above you and someone below you. You just have to know who you are and where you should be.

Con: With the hierarchy and bureaucracy, you can only do so much. Sometimes you have to shrug your shoulder and let go things. Want to be more in control, yup, wait until the day when you can be in control. Otherwise, shut up and move on.

Last but not the least, the project was done successfully and if I had another chance I would not have done it differently. However, I was nearly burnt out. In the evening of the April 12th, when I finally soaked myself up in the hot bubble bath, I shed a tear or two because of the happiness and exhaustion.

The world is your stage. Dance as if nobody watches.

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