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Swings And Roundabouts

I was once part of a project team where we went through cycles of extreme busyness, with long hours and weekend work, to times when things eased off completely. Some people found it difficult to slow down during these times.

Our leader was very aware of this and spoke about ‘swings & roundabouts’ and to savour the downtimes – come in a bit later and leave a bit earlier. Go to family events and attend sports days.  During the busy times that was not always possible.

 It meant that morale in our team was always high, even when we were under the pump.

 It also meant that people in the habit of working hard and long hours, had to have the ability to switch to slow mode – which could sometimes be difficult .

 When work is flat out and the work just has to be done and teams are under the pump and working long hours, it’s important to remember that there will also come a time when things slow down.

 It’s at these times that people have to take their foot off the accelerator and chill and take time out. Good leaders understand this.

 If those downtimes didn’t occur, performance would have been greatly diminished as the unrelenting workload gradually wore the team down, with no recovery time – risking the psychological safety of individual team members.

 Leadership is about understanding swings & roundabouts and supporting their team during times of pressure and times of quiet.

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