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Transitions: On the brink

Some of you enjoy my travel writing. Some of you keep up with my business / leadership musings in these pages. If you want the travel installments as I savour the south, hit reply.

I’m about to make a transition- from Calgary to Mexico: a different mode of life, for a month. It is a delectable prospect, particularly now as the wisdom of having set this course a year ago lands, full force, upon a couple who have just about had it up to here with winter.

Elaine and I are becoming progressively less tolerant of this adverse season and, this year, well, our fuse has just burnt out. On Friday, Elaine just couldn’t stir herself from the warm couch to go out into the cold to hear a performance. I forced myself. It was well worth it – with James Hill, a legendary player of – wait for it – the ukelele. Look him up! You won’t be disappointed.

So maybe our time is just about up. We’ve had enough, and, what’s best, we don’t have to take it anymore.

So, while she frets about what should or should not accompany her to San Miguel, I’m here at the Winter Club enjoying one last Canadian baccanale. You can see it here – and it is as tasty as it looks. You can probably meals like this down there – but not as easily as here. Nor should it be! We don’t go there for this.

We want a transition. Hence we talk about what will be different. Less meat. More walking and exercise without ski jackets or slippery steps. Work off, Art on. Speak Spanish, less English. And being warm, sun stroked, in the nicest possible way. Talks by film makers. Opera competitions. We naively harbor intentions of grand projects – yet to be disappointed in realization.

Now we’re pausing on the threshold. Soon off in the silver tube south. By evening, we’ll be sitting with our great friends Sue and Al open aired opposite the imposing church in Gaunajuato having celebratory margueritas. Talking excitedly about what’s ahead of us in another world.

I’m just started reading the great Russian historian Orlando Figes. His “A People’s Tragedy” promises an in-depth, up close and personal account of the Russian Revolution. I just discovered it tonight and I’m sure it’s going to preoccupy me most fruitfully while away. It wasn’t what I was planning. All the better. That’s what transitions are for – the unexpected. They make life taste spicier.

Whether we know it or not – we all have transitions coming. Sometimes they are wished for, some come unbidden and unwanted. At our stage, we see more than a few of the latter.

A former TEC member Peter Boyd recently transitioned to the other side. You know what I mean. Those left behind can now puzzle over what was up with him – a strong president, fastidious backer of modern art, a provocative TEC member. Also perplexing, an unresolved problem – to himself and others. What was it Churchill said? A question wrapped in an enigma plagued by paradox – something like that. But Peter was nothing if not memorable, and impactful: many took great inspiration from him. His departure inspires regret, most because, at bottom, few understood him.

No one would have enjoyed this meal more than Peter. Or provided more stimulating conversation.

A reminder that, while we can choose our beneficial transitions, we should seize them. Carpe diem – and god speed Peter.

See you in Mexico!

If you wish to receive my dispatches while I’m away, hit reply and you will be included, as will those who have previously followed adventures in Puebla, Spain and SMA.
Otherwise, we will see you on the other side, the more business -y side, when I’m back in harness at the beginning of April.


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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