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Actually there are two contrasting stories: it starts with one of my clients delivering his philosophy on work-life balance – “I know it is not my work colleagues who will carry my coffin, so it is important I devote fair time to the special people in my life”. I have often reflected on that pronouncement. On one hand it is very healthy – many executives confuse work and life, and therefore neglect important sources of pleasure, energy and resilience – namely friends and family. On the other hand, has the corporation become so soulless that, certainly at senior executive level, there should be no sense of community? Certainly shorter tenure of senior management has not helped, but even partnerships seem to suffer. The second story is that of Jorge Da Costa, my local street sweeper. You could not fail to engage with him: always talking with adults and children, always chirpy and certainly looking like he was actually enjoying his job. One week Jorge disappeared; I made a mental note but thought nothing of it. The following week I learned he had died quite suddenly. The local residents immediately took upon themselves to organise first flowers then a street bench in his honour. You can read the story here. Yesterday was Jorge’s passing’s first anniversary. As you can see on the photograph plenty of attention. It was difficult to keep a dry eye. It is also worth mentioning the caption on the flowers: “Missing you and always thinking of you Jorge. Love. Your Veolia work mates.” In Jorge’s case we clearly know who carried his coffin. Who will carry ours?

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