Withdrawal Symptoms . . .

It’s been exactly 5 months since my last fishing trip (saltwater flyfishing on the reefs of Los Roches, Venezuela), and to be perfectly honest, I’m having withdrawal symptoms.

I think about casting, keeping my wrist stiff, not dropping the rod tip on my back cast, all while I’m on the underground train going to a business meeting.  I can’t pass a small stream, a city canal, a culvert, even a drainage ditch and not stop and look for the best places a fat trout might hang out.  This is really sick, but in the swirl of the toilet bowl I wonder which riffle would hold the biggest fish!

And I know I am not the only one who thinks these things.  For those of you who don’t understand fishing, just pass it off as a momentary bit of insanity.  But for the few of you out there reading this who do understand, I have probably hit a primeval nerve, triggered a long dormant DNA reaction, or worse yet, opened Pandora’s creel!  Out come all the longings, the cacophony of memories of trips past, present and future.  We remember every great cast, every fish caught, and especially the one’s waiting to be stalked, challenged and landed, all to be released to continue their darting life among the currents.

When’s my next trip?  It’s not been planned yet.  Maybe back to Kamchatka for monster rainbow trout or never-before fished Steelhead; maybe another self-guided trip down a wild Alaskan river trying to avoid the Grizzly bears; or maybe to Belize to hunt for Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit (a Grand Slam).  Dreaming is the next best thing to being there.

Where is your next trip to indulge your passion  and rejuvenate your spirit?

How can you be a great leader if you don’t take time to rejuvenate your very essence?  Whatever your passions outside of work, they are critical to your personal wellbeing, and the wellbeing of your entire organization.  After all, organizations are shadows of their leaders!

Tight Lines . . .

About johnrchildress

John Childress is currently Visiting Professor in Strategy and Culture at IE Business School in Madrid and a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at john@johnrchildress.com or john.childress@theprincipiagroup.com
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