The Perks of Being a Wallflower

You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat.
You arrive. You sit. You listen. You observe. You process. You leave. Repeat.

Patience is a gift, one that many of us take for granted. I know I do. I’m always restless, eager for tomorrow, making plans for things that are only going to happen in 5, 8, 12, God!, even 18 months from now. In my natural habitat, I work with eagle eyes – watching over the valley, scanning what’s ahead to always take the right steps. PULSE, however, is not about wearing your natural skin.

Think about it, mate: you throw yourself into a new world where you ought to start a new function, working with people you’ve never heard of or met before! Trust me, it turns your life upside down, and it comes with pros and cons. The pros are obvious – go through the difficult transition, adapt, learn from it, and become stronger. The downside, though, is that it requires a lot of patience.

Imagine a prom where you’re standing by the corner of the dance hall and all you can do is watch. You don’t know the dance, your classmates are all pros, so you just listen to the music and observe. You may even tap your feet to the beat, but you don’t want to risk yourself and do the wrong moves. These people are like Beyoncé slaying at the VMAs and you’re just the new kid on the block trying to get in formation.

This is where I am right now: I arrived in the Philippines three weeks ago. I have a desk, where I sit every day, and I’ve been spending my days attending meetings where I listen, I watch, I observe, ask questions, process all these learnings and then go back home. It’s quite lonely at this side of the world, folks, and (once again) patience is my only friend during the evenings, when I journal and think about what I can do to help and how I can learn from the experience.

My eagle self is eager to jump in, and it’s almost time to start getting into action; until then, I will keep standing by the corner, watching the dance, so that I know my moves when it’s my time to join the waltz.


  1. This is brilliant, remind me so much of my first three weeks and the dancing analogy is spot on!

    Take care, Mr Eagle !

    1. I don’t if it was you, but when I was watching an alum presentation they mentioned that there was this bench that they would always go to do their work and enjoy the outside environment for some inspiration. I think it was you said that, when you shared your story to the GTP team. Anyway, I caught myself doing the same haha. There is a gazebo right outside the office and I’ve been spending most of my afternoons working from there. So much more relaxing than the cold office!

  2. What a great analogy Lucas – I bet you will be Jiving before long!! Really great to hear how things are going and to understand where you are on the change curve, it’s still early days though so I can imagine you are finding things a little frustrating since you have usually planned things well in advance in your normal day to day life. I hope that you find the whole experience richly rewarding……it is already teaching you the new skill of patience ! Speak soon and enjoy the journey!

  3. Great share, Lucas – I love your honesty & vulnerability. Patience is a virtue – and one that is so hard to learn & employ. What a gift that you have the opportunity to do so now. And know that you’re not alone … & that this too shall pass. Patience (& faith!) – you’ll be dancing to the beat (in your own way) soon, eagle eyes.

  4. Don’t be scared to make the “wrong” moves. Just the fact that you are trying to dance will make a big impact!

  5. First of all, love the group pic! Second, its SO good to hear that you are getting to test and push yourself in the new environment with your new team .. I am sure you will learn a LOT in these early days & in hindsight you will know that you grew in these first few weeks much more than you could imagine! GO ON, Mr.Eagle – keep looking for what’s beyond & fly high!!

  6. don’t rush Lucas… you keep watching and learning, and there will be some moment in which you will add value with your ideas, and it will be so natural you won’t even realize… try not to be so hard on yourself, relax and magic moment will happen… suddenly you will be dancing as well…

  7. If you think for a minute I believe you can’t dance, you’re crazy…you’re from Brazil!!! So, my sense is you can jump right in NOW and could probably teach them a few moves or two. Just dance like no one is watching! Stay safe and have fun!!

  8. Great to hear of your experience so far Lucas – the team have said it all already, patience is a virtue and I certainly know how excruciating it can be sitting with the discomfort of feeling like I don’t know what I am doing or how best to contribute. I’m going through my own version of that right now in my new job 🙂 I can relate to that feeling of waiting at the edge of the dance floor until I feel confident enough to join the dance, but also realise that we cannot wait to be invited in and will not learn the dance until we make the first moves to attempt it. Get on the dance floor (remember ‘in the arena’ that we did during Matching Week?) and give it a go! It doesn’t need to be perfect! And I’m sure you will be great!

  9. Very well said Lucas. I felt the same way my first month as well. Get ready, it will be changing soon for you! I will also mention that you and the PULSE team did an excellent job of preparing us all for exactly what you described- listen, observe, process, repeat. Being patient and adapting- what a gift!

  10. Great post and analogy Lucas – The Filipinos are indeed very musical… I’m sure you will be dancing in rhythm in no time at all, and no doubt throwing some of your own shapes! In the meantime, drop in again to the GSK Philippines office anytime you need a reminder that you are a talented mover!

  11. I hope you’re tentatively trying out some dance moves by now, Lucas.

    Or, you may even introduce some beats and moves yourself 😉

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