The current heatwave has given me an excuse to slow down and reflect on the year so far. 2020 has certainly had its fair share of challenges but also plenty of opportunities too!
No matter how much planning and preparation you do, 2020 has shown that those plans can be thrown massively off course due to matters outside your control. Whilst it is tough (and I have certainly struggled), it is important to focus on the things you can change and not those that you can’t!
Obstacles may not be obstacles!
When I was considering standing for the role of National President one of my major concerns was whether I would have the time to attend all of the events that I needed to as National President. The role (usually!) involves travelling to local events around the country as well as a number of international events. Of course a positive of this is that I have spent less money and have had a lot more time sleeping in my own bed than I anticipated!
I will admit that it has been disappointing that I haven’t had the opportunity to wave the flag for JCI UK at our European Conference or World Congress nor share in the incredible atmosphere when we (again!) won awards at European Conference (fingers crossed for World Congress in November!) However whilst that made me sad for a while I have realised that the most important thing to me is giving members the opportunity for growth.
Prior to March this year I had only used Zoom a couple of times. Since then, I, like plenty of others have experienced Zoom fatigue. There have been so many opportunities to attend events/training etc but sometimes all I have wanted to do is lie in a darkened room. This has taught me two things. Firstly that everyone is different and what works for some doesn’t work for others so I need to ensure I think about that. Secondly, I am very grateful that this didn’t happen 10 years ago as the lack of technology available then would have made it very difficult to stay connected.
Following the previous point I am now conscious that when I am leading meetings that I ensure that I am setting objectives about what I want to achieve from the meeting. To challenge me and keep me accountable I have asked a fellow member to let me know if I am running meetings without clear objectives. I admit that during the lockdown some of the meetings I was part of could have been more efficient but on reflection this is probably due to the next point.
I have realised that one of the key things that motivates to keep giving to JCI is the interaction which I have with other members. It has been particularly tough not getting to see the smiling faces of my fellow members and the pure exhilaration that I get coming away from JCI weekends. Whilst it is not the same I must express my thanks to all the members who have given me a boost.
The way we do things
The pandemic has allowed us to change the way we do things. Holding meetings online massively reduces the travel time and cost of meetings and also allows more frequent get togethers. When the world goes back to “normal” there are definitely going to be good things that have come from this time.
I know I am not the only member missing the interaction with fellow members. Therefore we have organised a series of networking and Q&A sessions to give you the opportunity to network with fellow members and find out more about them and their own expertise. These events are booked in for 3rd September, 17th September and 1st October so far with more to be scheduled. Check out the events page for more details.
I hope that this has been a useful insight into some of the ups and downs which I have experienced as your National President so far this year and I would really love to hear from you.
This post was written by James Lambert