There’s a certain age and point in your life when you begin to reflect on things that little bit more than you did in your care-free twenties…
I’ve reached that point.
These reflections include work life and personal life and that’s a good and natural thing. Questioning what you’ve achieved and delving a little deeper into what you really want to do with the rest of your life.
And events which occur in our personal lives add to this and can't help but remind you that nothing lasts forever.
It's no doubt an age thing but I've been musing over these things, truthfully, for the past year or so.
Someone asked me last year who my heroes were. I’d not given it any thought for a long time. After a very short ponder I replied. “I only have one living hero: Morrissey.”
At first I thought this might be a bit sad and insular to only have one hero. But the more I thought about it I was happy that I was reserving the status of hero to just one person. It’s not a word which should be flimsily chucked around like cheap confetti. He had a huge impact on my life as a moody, confused teenager full of angst and passion. And his beliefs and values haven’t wavered ever in the 30+ years I have followed him. That's a rare achievement.
When we heard of his recent illness it made Mrs C and I both very sad and so when we saw that he was playing a one-off gig at the O2 last November we made a pilgrimage down to London to see him once more. Cherish the things you love for one day they will be gone, we said.
It was an amazing and emotional night. It felt like one enormous reflection of 20,000 like-minded individuals in a soulless yet, for that night, intimate arena. We were saying thanks, paying respects.
Fast forward to January and he announced a further, small UK tour. And it included a night in our home town of Brum last Friday. Did we want to go and see the same show again? Course we did. Cherish the things you love for one day they will be gone.
So in a slightly clumsy analogy – forgive me – there's some professional relevance here. And the point that organisations should chersish their comms teams because one day – for some, it seems - they will be gone.
We’re hearing from so many comms folk disillusioned with their lot's. Cuts are making it harder and harder for some of them to do good work. I have a fear that some parts of public sector comms will begin to regress as there will be insufficient good people sitting on comms teams to make it fly.
We know of a large public sector organisation who has chopped and chopped and chopped its comms function so much that almost nothing remains. A couple of temps will have to try to continue the important work. I wish them well.
And colleagues in LGcomms have recently posed the question they are being asked of their CEXs: How can we deliver communications with a team of two?
Cherish the things you love for one day they will be gone
So what was the point of all of this. Firstly, it’s that reflective thinking is good – it can tap you on the shoulder to remind you if you’re missing a trick somewhere. Point out that you might want to make a career plan B. That you may want to subtly remind your bosses how important comms is and what it provides to an organisation.
And secondly that It’s good to plan, to have a direction, a goal and even a dream. But living in the moment is just as important. And cherishing the things you love while you can is the most important thing of all.
So, this week, I’ll largely be cherishing.
Darren Caveney is co-creator of comms2point0 and vice chair of LGcomms
Pic by ByeByeBirdie