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A Little Warm Milk and a Plate of Cookies

December 20, 2011

The wonderful team of Wempen and Tincup over at Drive thru HR is known for one particular question, usually asked of all guests, as they segue into the DTHR daily discussion – “What’s Keeping You Up at Night?”

Human nature, being what it is, most guests, myself included, tend to think first of the gnawing, nagging problems that cause us consternation.  The sorts of things that make us rise to the surface of our slumber at 2:49 AM3 AM“oh no, is that clock now reading 3:37 AM?”…4:12 AM4:33 AM…. “oh hell, I might as well just get up.”  Being as we’re on a radio show, however, we don’t bring up the Christmas to-do list that’s keeping us awake, or even the niggling gut-wrenching reminders about the financial report weekly report expense report that’s due in to Corporate.  But because, on the #DTHR show, we’re talking about big important HR things, we often focus on the viewmongous ginormous issues that worry us –

  • what’s happening with employee engagement at my company?
  • do I need to worry about an exodus of talent?
  • can I recruit and retain the right team members?
  • how is competition or the global economy going to affect my industry in 2012?
  • and what about that skills gap?

But an interesting issue surfaced when I called in to the show last week.  When the estimable Bryan Wempen asked me “what’s keeping you up at night?” I found myself sharing the cool and awesome things that cause me to toss and turn.  The items that energize me rather than drain me.  The projects which I‘m excited to tackle because I find them fun, exciting and can’t wait to see the end results. 

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The old-fashioned remedy for a sleepless night was to follow the directive ‘have a warm glass of milk’ – or as my family was fond of saying ‘enjoy a nice hot toddy.’  In other words, if you need to settle yourself, turn off your brain, and get some sleep – take a drink.

But being kept up at night isn’t always for bad things.  Sometimes, when you glance at the clock and think “… it’s 4:33 AM…. and I might as well just get up….” it could be because you’re pumped and ready to tackle the new day.

So get up and don’t have a glass of warm milk.  But a cookie might still be ok.

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