Mrs Blethers and I were commiserating about the stress of management yesterday. One of the things that impressed me last weekend in the run-up to the wedding was the way my friends Doo and Mike kept all the balls in the air - sending folk out on missions to pick something or someone up, put up tables, chase up things that hadn't appeared (Where's the disco? It's been stolen in a raid? Get another one!), polish the board for the menus, make signs for the carpark etc etc - and all this while keeping up a constant supply of cups of tea, and bacon rolls. Everyone went about their task willingly, cheerfully and competently and nobody argued or complained or shirked. But most importantly, nobody was overburdened or overwhelmed with things to do - there was plenty of delegation of jobs. A fine example of good management.
Of course I know that the reference to frantically paddling swans (which look so serene on the water) in the wedding sermon would not be lost on the family. I'm quite sure there was plenty of stress going on, but I'm equally sure that there would have been so much more if Doo and/or Mike had taken everything upon themselves and not trusted others to do a good job. Perhaps some things would not be exactly as they might have done it themselves, but maybe they were better. It all struck me as a really good use of people's talents. And there were plenty of them around.