December 12, 2019

I’m In The Mood for Something Today

i clutched my stomach, as I doubled over in pain.

I was struggling to breathe.
What’s more (how embarrassing) I could feel the tears coming out of my nose.

I had to hang on tight to the crude metal railing.
If I hadn’t, I could already picture my body hurling over the edge…
…and careering hundreds of feet into the valley.

I gasped and gulped to catch a violent breath.
Then I turned.

Chris was laughing too.

Here we were, triumphant at the peak of Mount Olympus.
Not THE Olympus, you understand.
No Gods and Goddesses, sprites and spirits here.

This is a mountain peak in Cyprus.

And we had driven, excitedly, wishing to see the island from on high.
Hoping to catch the sight of the sun’s rays stunningly striking the white-stoned city of Nicosia.

But we saw nothing.
“Nuffing!” said Chris.
’Cos the mist hung in the valleys and cloaked the landscape.

So, we looked around to see what memories we could capture.
And all we could see was a pile of broken white reinforced-concrete blocks;
twisted metal spiking out at all angles, as if in a death throe.

So, we started taking photographs of that… and each other.

And I got caught in a most uncomfortable, possibly-life-altering position, trying to hurdle over a low safety-barrier.
Which set Wendy and Rashida off, screaming and hooting (far too loudly).

At which point, the craziness of our sight-seeing, expectant-tourist situation hit us.
And Lesley joined with David, laughing uncontrollably….

Har, har, har.

Until – just as it did during breakfast….

Tee, hee, hee.

…everything became ridiculously, ludicrously, unbelievably funny.
Haw, haw, har, har, hee, hee.

I mean. So very funny.

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho
Wheeze, gasp, wheeze, gasp.

To be honest, every day found us all, six of us, behaving like that.
Like a bunch of silly, seriously-inebriated teenagers.

Come to think of it…
… we behave like that every time that we go away as a six-some. A three-couples-some.

It’s the mood you see.
The mood that settles on us as we jet away from the weighty mattes of business leadership, parenthood, church ministry…
With 11 children and 19 grandchildren between us; all expecting our consistent, unfailing, undying, doting love and attention.

Yet, before we’ve reached Gatwick Airport…
we’re already in the mood.
The culture of our friendship.

Then, within hours of landing in Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Italy, wherever…
The culture regenerates itself.
And doesn’t stop until we land back in Gatwick. Just one week later.

Moods and behaviour-patterns create cultures.
And it really doesn’t take that long for the culture to set in.
To any family, group, community… or business.

As with our one-week-break, it can permeate within hours. Days at the most.

In business, the mood – the culture – tends to flow from the thinking and behaviour of the leader(s)
Although, unusually, I’ve observed it flowing (for good or ill) from a single member of a team.

You can ‘smell’ it as you walk in a building or an office.

it can range from:
‘buzzing-with-expectation-and-possibility’… to
‘lethargic-with-routine-and-no-chance-of-being-creative’… to
‘resigned-to-just-doing-my-job-the-best-I-can-cos-I-can’t-influence-much-here’… to

Then, no matter what the strategy that’s proposed…
…the culture consumes it.

Frequently, the only person blissfully unaware of this cultural ogre is…
The Leader!

Their mind is on Vision and Mission and Achievement and Goals and Metrics and Performance and Productivity.
Whereas their team live with the reality of the ‘narrative’ on the ground.
The Culture.

But what’s exciting, even beautiful, is that Culture can be changed and recreated.
Your ‘place’ really could be a place of laughter!

It really could be a place where people come-and-go with a sense of fulfilment and joy.
And then take that feeling home to their families.

Imagine getting in a car, a train.
And the thought of being with those people sets you off laughing with expectancy.

Har, har, har.

You might never make it to your office.
They might think you’ve just popped some happy-pills.
They might cart you away!

Tee, hee, hee.

But before they do, they’ll ask you…
”Tell me again. Where do you work?”