Do you remember the days in college or rather the night outs in college just before that project submission or during the run up to the semester exams? Do you remember the sales days, burning midnight oil, pulling together that RFP (Request for proposal) response due for submission the next morning? Do you remember those system implementation days when one stayed awake all night to ensure the data conversion and other implementation steps were completed on time? I had another such experience in office last week and it sent me down memory lane. It reminded me of the numerous crunch situations when I had to do a straight 24 hour shift. Working the 24 hour shift once a while does give you an adrenalin rush. However much I'd wish, my office is no "Star trek" and I ain't no "Capt. Kirk". But it does give you a quaint sense of adventure. Especially now, it is a good antidote for mid-life crisis.
But then as I reflect on how things have changed, I realize what is different. I did not have to spend the whole night in office this time, if I choose not to. In the early days of my career, I had to stay the night because I was doing the work. The difference this time is that the real work is being done by my team. Technically, I did not need to stay the night. In fact, there is a good chance that my staying in office would be a distraction for the team. There is enough to do for the team than manage an overzealous boss. But, when I evaluated whether I should stay on or go home, I was reminded of the multiple times early on in my career that I stayed up. I remember we cherished it when the boss stayed up with us and encouraged us and participated in the ritual with us. I recollect we were bitter when the boss didn't stay with us ever, would always delegate and leave irrespective of how long the team worked. We always respect folks who are part of the team, irrespective of the role one plays, and even if he or she is the boss.
This made the decision easy. I was part of the team, I should stay with the team till the work is done. I had a choice, and I think I chose right because the team always comes first.