Turning 10 – a Time to Look Back, Celebrate the Present and Plan Ahead

Turning 10Something weird happens to time when a birthday approaches. We always do some sort of recap of the past and plan for the future on our birthdays. And all the more so when it’s a round figure birthday. And there’s also a sense of floating in a permanent and exciting present in expectation of the celebration.

Thinking back on my own birthdays, this has happened systematically over the past few …  I find myself doing those fun time-games remembering what things were like and feeling the vertigo -in hindsight- of never having imagined I would be where I am when I set off 1 year ago, 2, 3, 10, 20 …

It’s almost as if a birthday is a milestone in life’s journey. A time to stop, reflect, celebrate life and its unexpectedness. And also a moment to plan or envision the future. Because what the birthday brings is the chance to re-start. Something in you changes. You will no longer be 19, or 29, or 39, or whatever age you are. As a 20-year old, 30-year old or 40-year old, etc, you can do new things, right? You definitely sound different when you say it out loud.

But the time I enjoy the most about the birthday is the present (and the presents!). The expectation I feel the night before, that day is all about you. You know people have been thinking of you getting you a nice present, or remembering they need to call you, or just being reminded but reaching out anyway. And then there’s the moment when you blow the candles and people will sing to you. That’s just such a magical moment (and sometimes happily embarrassing if you knew my family!)

This year, on my birthday, I had a small party and at one point during the song, I looked up and around and was overcome with a sense of gratitude for the people singing. I was happy that bunch was my bunch. It was such a nice moment.

So surely the birthday of a company should feel somehow similar. It is definitely a warp in time. The whole company machinery is set to celebrate the big day. A team is appointed, a budget assigned, a hard deadline established. People start digging into the past, writing the history, looking at pictures, laughing about this or that memory, sometimes in disbelief to find themselves looking so young 10 years ago! Or proud to see how much they’ve grown. Or melancholy to remember a colleague that left.

There’s also an amazing sense of anticipation building up to the day of the launch of the celebration. Because the birthday of a company is as if all the people that make it, not just the employees, are celebrating and moving into a new year. It’s definitely a time to look back and honor the time gone by, and to connect with the vision, see if it’s still makes sense to you, reconnect. A time to be grateful to all those that have been part: clients, champions, board members, consultants, faculty members, followers, employees, vendors. A time to come together. And a time to look up and around, feel happy about everything we’ve achieved and excited about the achievements to come, sense the love from and express the gratitude to those we have reached throughout these 10 years.

Happy birthday Axialent!

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About the author

Maria combines a solid background in diagnostic tools management with developing expertise in culture assessment and development, and a passion for learning that has enabled her to deliver projects and build knowledge both for internal development and with clients in an impeccable manner. Read more >

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