I am off to a conference out of town in a few weeks’ time – which means I am already doing the mental gymnastics required for life at home to run smoothly while I am away; and for certain work to continue even when I am away from my desk. Can you relate? Lifts to and from school, payments, shopping, meals, friends, volunteering commitments, emails, and, most importantly, time with my gorgeous family. Work-life balance: The impossible dream.

Is it just me or is time going faster? Every day passes in a blur of activity, punctuated by phone calls, SMSes, e-mails, meetings and appointments. Adrenaline runs our days and ruins our nights. We pride ourselves on how much we manage to cram in. We revere multi-tasking.

We have all been around those extraordinary people who excel in their careers, but don’t make enemies doing it. They care about people but manage to stretch them at the same time; and their vision and dedication create a slipstream which others can’t help but join. They are respected, and engender trust and enthusiastic followership. It’s just easy to buy into who they are, and what they are about: in good times and bad times. They are authentic leaders.

Inflation, economic instability, political turmoil, student protests … and that was just yesterday’s headlines. I heard a politician on 702 yesterday saying: “Sometimes in politics, nothing happens in a decade. Other times, a decade happens in a week. This is one of those times.” Touché.

When Bill Clinton was furiously campaigning for his second term, his advisers, in an effort to keep him on message, coined the phrase "it's the economy, stupid". When things go wrong in personal relationships or in business, it often crosses my mind that "it's communication (stupid!)".

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