Two week warning…

We’re two weeks out. It’s the time of year when I should be approaching caffeine poisoning or have my blood pressure trending towards stroke territory. And yet as I sit here, I’m feeling mostly swaddled in a calm indifference.

By the time this week ends, I’ll have done 80% of everything that’s doable within my span of control to attempt pulling this circus off without too many problems. By the time next week ends, I’ll have spooled out 90% of my effort. The final 10% will burn off across three days from the 25th through the 27th. Very little of what happens during those three days will have anything at all to do with me.

By that point, I’ve given you the stage, gotten people ticketed, fought with dozens of people about getting their presentations delivered in something like a timely manner, and attended to all manner of details both petty and large. What I can’t do, though, is make everyone happy. Attendees will be mad that they’re not getting coffee and cookies, briefers will be mad that we don’t have the mic they really like, senior leaders of every stripe will be visited by the good idea fairy a few hours before show time and want to change everything.

But next week, this ponderous beast begins taking on a life of its own. As the clock runs down, the series of events begins that we’re all individually unable to stop. By then the best we can do is attempt to nudge events back towards the right path and let them flow through to their illogical end.

At this point, stepping out one more time to the edge of the precipice, all I know for certain is that in two weeks the circus will be in town. Some of it will go well. Some of it will not. And then it will be over. After that we’ll all spend six months forgetting that we have to do it all again for 2024.

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