A curious thing happened in the last 10 days odd. I was put forward for the CIO job, expecting nothing to come of it, and not even sure if I really wanted it. Then it progressed against expectation and I found myself excited, not just at the sheer unlikely possibility, but at the thought I might be able to do something. Do something real. Do something profound. I imagined again the power I had forgotten to effect change.
I did miss out on the job, but I was just a whisker away. They liked me. They were impressed, I was told. They had a preferred candidate going into it though and it was to them they made the offer. I was first reserve, if their candidate knocked it back the offer would come to me. It may still, but I don’t expect it.
The whole episode has had a minor transformative effect on me. I lay in bed the other night unable to sleep and feeling, despite all this, a tad blue. It seemed to me I was either in one phase or another. I was either conservative and looking to quietly manage my situation and expectations, trying to accept the altered worldview. Or else I was aggressive and striving, defiant of circumstance and expectation and convention. One phase was perfectly sensible, and acceptable to the viewing public. The other phase was ambitious to the point of arrogance, dismissive of contrary views. That night lying in bed I was somewhere between the two, and conscious of both. I knew I was happier in the second phase.
This job opportunity has renewed my belief and restored hope. I had doubts, doubts I didn’t realise until thrown into relief by this episode. I can believe again, perhaps unwisely, that my great hopes may be possible. I am greatly reassured in my person. I had questioned, but now I feel validated again.
All my doubts about the rightness of the role dissipated. I understand how I might want to retire to something quieter – my abiding wish to find a home in the country or by the beach is testament to that. Yet that’s not inconsistent with a want to achieve. When push comes to shove, when the acid’s on, I want to be the one in the driver’s seat*. I don’t want to be watching someone else drive. This is me. The true me. It’s my DNA.
It’s had an impact upon my everyday conduct. I’ve come out of myself. I’ve always had charm in me, but for a long time it’s been subverted. I felt it blossom in me again last week. From Clint Eastwood I became George Clooney. I felt people turn to me. I felt them open up and respond. One guy said I had “charismatic intelligence”. Another, one of the gay guys, called me a “big, gorgeous Australian”. I flowed. I joked, I teased, I engaged.
I felt something familiar in all of this. I felt monumental. A force of nature. Now that sounds like hubris, but understand it was understated, a statement of possibility more than arrogant proclamation. Ride the possibility and the sky’s the limit.
I have another interview next week, and a meeting with the headhunter that put me up for the CIO role. I remember how effective I can be, and I want to embody that again. It may not happen soon, but I know there’s a place waiting for me somewhere, and opportunities ready to ride.
*I apologise for the untidy collection of mismatched clichés, but they make the point well.