The majority of people reading this morning’s post will have come across the recent story of Jonathan Frostick.
Mr Frostick is a contractor, and in the middle of April he was managing a team of 20 people for HSBC. Sadly, he suffered a heart attack. Starting his recovery in hospital he wrote a post on LinkedIn, vowing ‘to restructure his approach to work’ and confessing that his first thought as the heart attack struck was that ‘it wasn’t convenient: I had a meeting with my manager tomorrow’
Mr Frostick’s post went viral, gaining more than 200,000 likes and over 11,000 comments – as he said that life ‘literally is too short.’
This story came hot on the heels of young bankers at Goldman Sachs complaining about their ‘inhumane’ working hours – and calling for an 80 hours a week cap.
First things first: let’s send our virtual best wishes to Mr Frostick for a full and speedy recovery. But as I read his story I thought there – in a nutshell – is what The Alternative Board stands for.
The title of this week’s post is, of course, taken from Helen Gurley Brown’s famous book – originally published 40 years ago – that told women they could ‘have it all’ (and yes, I am well aware that 40 years later I am tiptoeing through dangerous ground…)
Can you have it all in business? Can you have everything you want in your personal life while building a successful business? Can being happy in your personal life really help you build the business?
Sadly, there are still far too many people owning and managing businesses who believe that the two are mutually exclusive. That it’s a zero sum game. That success in business must come at the expense of your family life.
I’m here to tell you they’re wrong. That it’s not a zero sum game. That you can have it all, and that TAB UK will do everything in its power to help you make it happen.
Life is gradually returning to normal. We are going back to the office: some companies – watch this space, folks – are looking at different, more flexible offices. In the City, they’re adamant that the office is far from dead.
Many of you will have sat in a beer garden again. Some of you may have done little other than sit in a beer garden…
The ‘old normal’ is making a comeback. Hopefully the departure lounge will soon be a realistic option – having been roughly as accessible as Narnia for the last year.
All that is good. More than good. But it also comes with a warning.
What do we do after the Christmas holidays? We say, ‘Right, this is it. New Year’s resolutions. And this year it’s going to be different.’
…But by January 15th it isn’t different. Life’s gone back to how it was: so have we.
That’s the situation we face now: as life returns to normal it will be all too easy to drift back to the old ways of doing things. The commute, the sandwich shop, the late nights.
We all need to learn from the last 14 months. The pandemic has been a dreadful experience: I’ve had my first jab now and I’m truly grateful. But difficult as it has been we need to learn from it – not forget it. ‘Lessons have to be learned’ is an easy cliché to trot out – whether you’re in government or business – but in this case it’s true. Covid has given us the chance to see what’s really important: it’s shown us how crucial the choices we make really are.
…And – as Jonathan Frostick pointed out – it’s underlined just how fragile life, and what we get from it, can be.
There simply couldn’t have been a better endorsement of what’s right at the heart of The Alternative Board than his post on LinkedIn. Let’s not waste the lesson – or what we’ve learned over the last year.
Let me leave you for this week on a slightly lighter note: news of a re-brand in the world of financial services. Having no doubt written a whopping cheque to brand and design consultants, fund manager Standard Life Aberdeen is re-launching itself.
They are to re-brand as abrdn. The almost vowel-less re-brand (the A is apparently from Standard) will, say the company, be ‘modern’ and ‘dynamic.’
TH LTRNTV BRD – I’m not that keen. But I’m even less keen on my personal re-brand:
He doesn’t seem very ‘modern’ – or ‘dynamic…’