My time is beginning to pass faster. I barely noticed it. The other day Kelly and I were looking at some pictures from when we first met, and, boy, I looked a lot younger. Granted, I’m still younger than most people reading this post, but just two months away from my thirtieth birthday and my seventh anniversary at my company, I’m beginning notice some changes. It’s milestones like these that get a guy thinking, make him feel some pressure. What have I accomplished? Am I on the right path?
Yes, the prophecies are coming true. You said it would be harder to lose weight and harder to work out hard. You said the baby would grow up too fast. Blah, blah, blah – you were right and I was wrong. As it turns out, I don’t think I will live forever anymore. My time, which once seemed nebulous and sprawling, now closes in on me sharply and definitively. I feel like I’m on a treadmill and someone keeps pressing that arrow up button that makes the belt go faster.
Fortunately, there are some benefits to age and experience for managers. I’m less of a hot head now than when I first started out as manager. I make far fewer mistakes and far sounder decisions at work. I’m more credible as a leader with some life experiences like marriage and having a baby under my belt. Hopefully my growing experience and track record make me a better candidate for a promotion over time. But I put pressure on myself for advancement like I’m late for a meeting – with each passing minute the pressure builds for me to get where I’m going.
One thing I can’t let fade with time is my ambition. I will consciously continue to stoke the fire that burns in my belly. In fact, this fire has increased in intensity over time. I work harder now than when I first started out. Back then, I thought I’d be rich by now, or have some cushy nine-to-five corporate office gig. Now I desire neither of these things. It’s accomplishment I am after, and I am smart enough now to know I have to work for it.
I’m also smart enough now to listen when people tell me time will pass faster, but I’m probably still too dumb to listen when they tell me to stop and smell the roses every once in a while.
Welcome to my blog. I have been a manager for fifteen years, and for the past five years I have been leading teams of 500 people or more as a director and VP for large growth companies. I share my leadership journey and thoughts here with the hopes of helping and inspiring other leaders.
Categories: Leadership and Management