The keen ones

Here I am, willingly thrown into yet another sport event covering a sport I have to admit I am mostly unfamiliar with: soccer for my North American friends, and football for the other ones. Sure, I know there are 22 men running after a ball they get to kick and score when the opposite team’s defence gets too weak. Ok, this is oversimplified, and a whole game requires some strategy, a good tactic, reliable legs, a determined mental strength and a supportive coach. Easy…

This project is big: it may not be a world tournament, millions of eyes will be riveted on a device somewhere on the planet to watch it. With the recent events in Europe, the security programme promises to be super tight, and the diversity of the hosting venues turns out to be an interesting series of challenges nicely managed by engaging teams. The few I have met so far make me think that the recruiting part was thoughtful for the most part. From the veterans, on the host broadcasting compounds, to the “fresher” ones in accreditation or to handle the volunteers, the feeling is more than good.

The team I am part of and the one I manage have already stepped up, showing their genuine enthusiasm, taking initiatives and responding with options, even sometimes solutions. Maybe it is the cumulative of past experiences (i.e. my age…?), the depth of preparation work others teams have put into it, the calm devotion of each member at “my” venue, or a combination of all of that: the bottom line is that there is a distinct harmony within the team, and this gives us a prudent confidence in managing the unexpected chaos coming our way every day.

I know I have only been here for a week, and I can already tell: such cohesion is rare. Working with keen people, whether they bring a wealth of practice and wisdom (sometimes) or not, offers comfort to many minds, grasping the idea of how many days are left before the kick-off. The energy is positive, the project complicated enough to make it both demanding and stimulating, and the key to all this comes down to the people on the team: I am lucky, even when they keep calling me with their big and little requests. Because “Logistics probably knows what to do with this one”.