Posted by: pakalil | June 4, 2008

The sound of a drum

Work, work, work. Last weekend, when I was not doing something with Laurent’s friends, I was in front of this computer putting courses together for Amsterdam. I’ve been working under tight deadlines for more than three months, managing the implementation of 25 courses in 4 languages. First, I had to meet Senegal’s kick-off deadline, then I had to turn in the new Spanish version for El Salvador’s meeting and now I must be ready for a new conference in Malawi.

For this reason, I decided to hire two people to work with me. However, managing a team is a tricky task. More so when you try to build a collaborative atmosphere, where everybody feels compelled to do what needs to be done without receiving orders. I don’t believe in orders, I don’t like them. One of my employees is brilliant and a pleasure to work with. She has initiative and is detail-oriented – it is difficult to find people like that. The other employee, on the other hand, asks for a lot of attention, does not start working without receiving a direct request and all his work must be verified.

We are all humans, in different moments of our lives, with expectations, dreams, feelings and challenges to overcome. To work under pressure has its consequences: it can stress you out and drain your ability to invent. I feel without energy today. O, I am tired, but today is the deadline for Malawi’s course. It is 8h30 in Seattle. Before starting, however, I wanted to write.

I woke up with an image of a drum, a big old drum, reverberating. This drum would resonate differently, depending on the tension applied to its drumhead. Sometimes, it would hit me with a crisp and clean beat, other times, it would touch me with a loud and deep voice. The drum of my dreams was made out of dark wood and had a warm and wholesome tone. Tum-tum-tum. To increase the amplitude of its sound, an old Indian asked me to release some tension. Tummm-tummm-tummm. And here I am, trying to play my drum, to breathe, and to go on.


  1. Pat, I think I understand how do you feel about managing your employees. Although some people grow and shine and make we think our efforts worthwhile, some others look as if everything we say is for nothing. And that is very annoying… In my last job, I was supposed to be a coach for my employees. It was a role that pleased me a lot, but it was very demanding also. I really enjoy working with people and have the responsibility of their growing. It is very challenging to me. But I have to agree that this is not an easy task! But when it works, it is so rewarding!

    Is the drum of your dreams a taikô =)?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: