“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” ― Winston Churchill I’m thinking out loud here. After a conversation

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.” ― Winston Churchill

I’m thinking out loud here.

After a conversation I had with Dai on Sunday night* I’ve been thinking about the importance of ‘serious’ work. Growing up, most of the people who I disliked were ‘serious’. They didn’t understand the importance of play, of mixing things up a bit. If you wanted to get on in life, you had to take things ‘seriously’. And you had to CONCENTRATE.

Now, of course, with social networks and the infantilisation of the electorate by the media, the pendulum seems to have swung to the opposite extreme. Continuous partial attention is king, multitasking is normal, and being playful is seen as a virtue, even (or perhaps especially) at big corporates.

What I think we need is Seriousness 2.0: a willingness to step up to the plate and lead, but to do so without all of the bureaucracy that went with 1960s-era management. We need this in business, we need this in public life, we need it in schools, and we need it in the organisations (like uniformed ones) that provide meaning and structure to society.

The easy response to this excuse-for-a-blog-post would be, “Well why don’t you just get on with it, then?” And I definitely should. The difficulty comes when you take a lot on, and then there’s no-one left to pass the baton to when you want to step down. Pipeline planning for leadership is a crucial issue for our nation, and perhaps the world.

Perhaps I’m getting more conservative as I get older. As another quotation (falsely) attributed to Churchill goes, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” I certainly hope not, but I’m certainly realising the importance of inter-generational solidarity and ensuring the integrity of the fabric of society.

* See http://tidepodcast.org (Episode 43)