Since the beginning of this blog I wanted to write a post titled, My Camelot. Not about my history, but the experiences of others I know. Stories of a time when these folks worked with the right people, at the right time, in the right place. Together they achieved so much and they knew these were the best of times.
I have worked for 25 years in business and I do not have my story of Camelot … or so I thought. I now recognize that I am living within the walls of my own Camelot.
What is Camelot? Think the myth of King Arthur. He ruled Camelot, his castle and symbol of peace and prosperity in an ancient time that before only knew war and strife. Arthur knew the days of Camelot could not last and he held on tight to every moment it existed.
It is difficult to recognize when one is living in his or her own version of Camelot. Typically only in hindsight do we understand what we had and what we lost. We then move forward searching for the next castle, a place of peace and prosperity.
Yet, under enough stress one may recognize what is right there in front of them. That is my situation. I am making the call today. I am living in the dying days of my own Camelot. My vision is clear as I turn back to see where I came from and what I experienced. My Camelot indeed.
My organization is under stress and we are essentially running down our business (insurance company servicing only existing policies and writing no new business). In an orderly fashion we are reducing staff and consolidating our business. We insured many of those mortgage loans that fell apart over the past several years. The economic downturn has hurt so many who have lost their homes. It has also hit hard on many companies involved in the housing industry.
Indeed my Camelot. I have worked with and continue to work with many terrific employees … together we have moved mountains. Everything fit and everyone contributed to create magic. With the stress over the past several years there was no issue we could not resolve. We re-invented ourselves several times to work smarter and just do more. Damn, we were good.
Alas, in the end our work could not turn around the fortune of the larger organization. We have lost many people already and more so as we finish the year. I do not want them to go. They are too good. We are so good … together. Yet we move forward. We celebrate nearly daily when another employee gets a new job. We know they take a piece of our Camelot with them. Nonetheless, we continue to move forward.
For those remaining, we hold forth our goals and focus on continued strong performance. There is still important work to do. To say I am both impressed and honored to see people so focused and producing each day, is an understatement.
My job is to lead. For myself and the leadership team in my organization, we are focused both on the continued work at hand and the safe exodus of our team members. I do admit that I hope they pause at some point to recognize how good we were together in a place I call Camelot.
Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.
Alan Lerner: The Musical, Camelot