Flight NZ23 touched down in Auckland at 5:05 am this morning.
I do not regret for a single moment the exceptionally impulsive decision I made to fly all the way to Canada for a concert, and then fly home.
I’ve got a whole big blog about burying my youth and appreciating the few small gems that have stayed in my heart, and my life, thanks to the wonders of social media.
Today, however, I want to talk about my office.
This morning, I breezed through customs and immigration, due to the fact I had no time to shop so nothing to declare. I also didn’t have any number of children to herd. After being home long enough to shuffle steph, the only child we have in the country at the moment, out the door and boot her unceremoniously out off the car, I sped straight to the office.
I was met with hugs and custard squares.
They didn’t bother erasing the “Welcome Home DEE!” message on the whiteboard. I’d only returned home after a two-week family vacation. I rushed in, well before 9:00am and the laughter and chatter was solid for most of the day.
My General Manager, a posh, silver-haired-superhero named James, is one of my favourite things in the whole world. All the staff are fabulous, and I’ll write about them all in turn I have no doubt, but today, I want to tell you about this man, who does an excellent impression of a fog-horn, with his booming and energetic voice.
Let me start at the beginning. James didn’t like me much.
A lot of people don’t like me much at first.
A lot has changed in that department.
James was president several chapters of a networking group I was scoping out to join. He’s had a long and varied career, from law, to accounting, to PR, to recruitment. He’s clever, capable, and generally very cheerful. He’s also passionate, professional, driven, funny and someone you’d be well advised not to trifle with. He’ll call a spade a spade and stand his ground. The more he believes in something, the more of a bull he’ll become.
This is one of the things I Love about this man the most.
James and I share many personality traits. We both swear a lot, feel big, think big, and cherish the people and partners in our world.
I can’t put my finger on why, but James takes any slight on my husband or myself almost as a personal offense. He’s learned 10 years worth of Electric Vehicle and sustainability intricacies in a few months, and he’s catapulted my company and the EV movement forward by years. And, do you want to know what is really cool about all of this? He’s enjoying every action packed, stress-filled, chaos riddled moment of the journey.
We have bad days, and we struggle sometimes, and he and I are even known to have the odd disagreement or swearing match.
We’re often on the same page when something doesn’t feel right. If there’s an event, angle, personality or situation that doesn’t sit well in my stomach, it is never long before James brings it up and we find that we’ve both been sharing the same concerns.
I can’t say what the future has in store for us. We both want to knock this next few years out of the park, and decide then where our paths might lead, either together or cheerleading for each others’ next project from a distance.
As of today, however, James has saved more than just my schedule. He’s rescued my sanity, or whatever the status quo of almost sanity is for someone like me.
His Love, support, enthusiasm and loyalty have meant that I have the freedom to see my children and be a part of their lives. His amazing PR skill and intuition have facilitated so many wins, I am almost becoming immune to getting excited about his latest epic victory.
A fly on the wall in our office would either be in fits of belly laughs, or horrified. We often yell at each other, take pot shots, and air our personal struggles and worries without fear or repercussions. Ours is a culture of passion, integrity, encouragement and creativity. If I could put it in a bottle and sell it, I have little doubt we’d be billionaires overnight.
At any rate, the thing I really want to impart to anyone reading this today, is that you never know who is going to become an integral part of your life. Be patient with people, quiet or loud though they might be. Get to know their stories, and try not to be a jerk to anyone. Even those people who you’ll never really have much to do with are woven on some level into the fabric of your being, and if you discard or discount anyone. I can’t imagine where I’d be today if my GM and I had written each other off after a genuinely rocky start.
So thank you James Cozens. You’ve changed my life for the better, and I’ll keep brainstorming and head butting with you as we journey forward into a better future.