"Christmas Carrels?" - From where I sit, managing my work and managing my people is an immersive experience. Literally. I always choose to place my desk in the middle of our workspace, the better to both be accessible and to communicate to my staff and my colleagues that we are all in this together. In my view, leadership by example works best when those I lead can see my example every day as they walk past my desk. It is also a reality check, and humbling, to see the dedication of all those around me. It is all to easy to underestimate the amount of time and effort required to deliver on a project. Hard work is its own reward and by being in the center of all the action ensures I work (and can be seen to work) as long and hard as any of my direct reports. Whilst I do enjoy the "open office" design concept and believe it is important to be available for all the little questions, not just the big ones, there is a “cost”. A significant cost. And that is the cost of being constantly pulled in many different directions, and having to flex quickly between my many different roles as subject matter expert, communicator, decision maker, firefighter, manager, peer, and subordinate. It is very easy to feel out of control, and it is all too easy to succumb to being over overwhelmed, especially when taking on a new role, such as a manager or project leader. Don’t panic – there are simple ways to regain control and increase your effectiveness (and your enjoyment!).