It’s been nearly four days since my last coffee.
This isn’t a conscious choice. I’m not detoxing, raising money or awareness of a noble cause, or trying to save the environment.
Nope. I simply have a cold and the idea of drinking coffee makes me gag. The last time I was too sick to drink coffee was 15 years ago when I was growing a whole other human inside me. I’m not pregnant now so this must be worse than a common cold; it must be ManFlu.
I’ve been coughing on my colleagues and sighing dramatically at my family. I can’t decide if my body aches because it’s sick or because it’s in caffeine withdrawal. I am jet-lagged, flu-ridden, and have an overflowing inbox.
All of which I would accept better if I could just drink coffee.
I’d like to say this involuntary caffeine exile has made me attain a Yoda-like state of acceptance and peace, or zealously declare, ‘Hallelujah; life is better without it!’
Again, nope. I find life without coffee is fundamentally flawed and categorically, well, meh…
While I haven’t developed a keener appreciation for a caffeine-free life, this experience has highlighted the following important leadership lesson: no matter what is happening in your sphere of leadership, keep the (literal or metaphorical) coffee flowing.
Our team stops work and gathers for half an hour each day for Coffee O’clock. Sometimes we talk work and sometimes we don’t. It’s not about the content of conversation, or even – and it pains me to say this – about the coffee. It’s about the team.
A difficult journey is made easier, a celebration more joyful, when we are connected. When there is a place to pause in the activity. When there is Something Good to experience, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Like coffee. Everything is better when there is coffee.